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Title: Amphibian diversity in East African biodiversity hotspots: altitudinal and latitudinal patterns
Contributor(s): Poynton, J C (author); Loader, S P (author); Sherratt, Emma (author); Clarke, B T (author)
Publication Date: 2007
DOI: 10.1007/s10531-006-9074-1
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Abstract: The Eastern Arc mountain chain and adjoining coastal forests of Tanzania and Kenya have been listed as world biodiversity hotspots. We report on an ongoing attempt to estimate amphibian diversity on the three best studied mountains of the Eastern Arc, the East Usambara, Uluguru and Udzungwa mountains of Tanzania, complemented by an estimate of diversity on the adjoining coastal lowland. This proves to be a complex task, which introduces a note of caution into evaluating global biodiversity estimates. Most amphibian species in eastern Tanzania occur on the coastal lowlands and are widely distributed, extending at least north or south of Tanzania and, to a variable extent, westwards to the elevated interior. Diversity patterns along the length of the lowlands are complex, with the presence of a Sahelian element in the extreme north. On the three Eastern Arc mountains studied, species turnover associated with rising altitude is greater than turnover associated with latitudinal distance between the mountain blocks, leading to greater altitudinal than latitudinal diversity in this equatorial region. A long-standing divergence is indicated between montane and lowland endemics. Although forest-associated species are not the largest contributor to the eastern Tanzanian total species diversity (some 48%), the uniqueness of these species both in lowland and montane forests, combined with their evident vulnerability to disturbance, makes them a subject for particular conservation concern, and justifies hotspot status for both montane and lowland forests.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Biodiversity and Conservation, 16(4), p. 1103-1118
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1572-9710
Field of Research (FOR): 060301 Animal Systematics and Taxonomy
060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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