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Beta Diversity in a Highly Heterogeneous Area: Disentangling Species and Taxonomic Dissimilarity for Terrestrial Vertebrates
Jaime M Calderón-Patrón et al. PLoS One.2016.
Free PMC article
Quantifying differences in species composition among communities provides important information related to the distribution, conservation and management of biodiversity, especially when two components are recognized: dissimilarity due to turnover, and dissimilarity due to richness differences. The ecoregions in central Mexico, within the Mexican Transition Zone, have outstanding environmental heterogeneity and harbor huge biological richness, besides differences in the origin of the biota. Therefore, biodiversity studies in this area require the use of complementary measures to achieve appropriate information that may help in the design of conservation strategies. In this work we analyze the dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, and the components of turnover and richness differences, among six ecoregions in the state of Hidalgo, central Mexico. We follow two approaches: one based on species level dissimilarity, and the second on taxonomic dissimilarity. We used databases from the project "Biodiversity in the state of Hidalgo". Our results indicate that species dissimilarity is higher than taxonomic dissimilarity, and that turnover contributes more than richness differences, both for species and taxonomic total dissimilarity. Moreover, total dissimilarity, turnover dissimilarity and the dissimilarity due to richness differences were positively related in the four vertebrate groups. Reptiles had the highest values of dissimilarity, followed by mammals, amphibians and birds. For reptiles, birds, and mammals, species turnover was the most important component, while richness differences had a higher contribution for amphibians. The highest values of dissimilarity occurred between environmentally contrasting ecoregions (i.e., tropical and temperate forests), which suggests that environmental heterogeneity and differences in the origin of biotas are key factors driving beta diversity of terrestrial vertebrates among ecoregions in this complex area.
Conflict of interest statement
Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Fig 1. Hypothetical examples showing species and…
Fig 2. Study area. Spatial distribution of…
Fig 3. Multiple-site dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates.
Fig 4. NMDS results for the four…
Fig 5. Relationships between species and taxonomic…
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This work was supported by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT, Mexican National Council of Science and Technology) through projects Fomix Hidalgo “Diversidad biológica del estado de Hidalgo” (Biological diversity of the state of Hidalgo), first, second and third stages awarded to IG (grant numbers 43761, 95828, and 191908). Manuscript writing and data analysis were also supported by the CONACYT Basic Science Project 222632 “Evaluación de la diversidad de especies mediante el análisis e integración de elementos ecológicos, funcionales y evolutivos” awarded to CEM. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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