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German Journal of Herpetology

Böning, P., S. Wolf, K. Upton, M. Menin, P. J. Venegas & S. Lötters

In Issues 2017

Amphibian diversity and its turnover in floating meadows along the Amazon river. pp. 379-388.

Abstract. Anuran amphibians are a key group when assessing diversity patterns in Amazonia. Of the many different habitat types in this region exploited by anurans, floating meadows have received little attention. These are semi-anchored, thick plant mats on the surface of water bodies. We characterize the diversity of anuran communities encountered in this habitat and explore the Amazon River species turnover. Thirty-five species were recorded at seven floating meadow sites. Species richness varied among them but similarity was commonly high between neighbouring floating meadows. Upper Amazon basin sites were more similar to each other than to central Amazonian sites. Central Amazonian sites had limited similarity to each other. High densities in certain anuran species suggest that floating meadows provide highly beneficial habitats, while the presence of other, less common species may result from ‘accidental’ drift. Yet anuran beta-diversity is relatively similar. We suggest that this is likely due to the fluid nature of floating meadows, which have the ability to disperse anurans.
Key words. Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae, Leptodactylidae, Pipidae, Amazonia, Brazil, Peru, alpha-diversity, beta-diversity.

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