Spatial distribution of anuran assemblages from Caxiuanã, Brazil : testing the riverine barrier hypothesis and the influence of life-history traits

Coates, M 2018, Spatial distribution of anuran assemblages from Caxiuanã, Brazil : testing the riverine barrier hypothesis and the influence of life-history traits , MSc by research thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

Knowledge of community composition is essential for the understanding of biodiversity and forming effective conservation plans. In the Amazon basin, the spatial structure of animal communities has often been explained by the riverine barrier hypothesis, which assumes that large rivers act as main ecological drivers of diversification. However, life-histories, functional traits and environmental factors other than rivers have also been shown to affect the distribution of species in the Amazon. Typically, the riverine barrier hypothesis focuses on large Amazonian rivers and little research has been conducted on small geographical scales. Through the analysis of an available dataset compiled by numerous researchers over 20 years on anuran assemblages along the Caxiuanã River in Para, Brazil, differences in local assemblage composition were investigated to test the riverine barrier effect. After accounting for sampling bias, the present work shows that anuran composition varies throughout the studied assemblages in Caxiuanã, and that life-histories and functional traits of species likely play a larger role in small-scale diversification than the Caxiuanã River does as a barrier. These results demonstrate that assemblage diversification can occur at a relatively small geographical scale as influenced by differences in life-histories by species adapted to given areas. Future research should not overlook the importance and potential of ecological differences on small scales. In-depth understanding of factors that influence spatial distribution of species will lead to effective conservation plans.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc by research)
Contributors: Jehle, R (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Matthew Coates
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2018 13:51
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2019 01:38
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/48986

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