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Elevational patterns of frog species richness and endemic richness in the Hengduan Mountains, China: geometric constraints, area and climate effects

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We studied frog biodiversity along an elevational gradient in the Hengduan Mountains, China. Endemic and non-endemic elevational diversity patterns were examined individually. Competing hypotheses were also tested for these patterns. Species richness of total frogs, endemics and non-endemics peaked at mid-elevations. The peak in endemic species richness was at higher elevations than the maxima of total species richness. Endemic species richness followed the mid-domain model predictions, and showed a nonlinear relationship with temperature. Water and energy were the most important variables in explaining elevational patterns of non-endemic species richness. A suite of interacting climatic and geometric factors best explained total species richness patterns along the elevational gradient. We suggest that the mid-domain effect was an important factor to explain elevational richness patterns, especially in regions with high endemism.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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