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1 February 2014 Elevation patterns in rodent diversity in the dry Andes: disentangling the role of environmental factors
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Abstract

Biodiversity patterns are the result of the interaction of numerous contemporary factors and historical opportunities for allopatric speciation. Several hypotheses regarding climatic features and topographic characteristics have been reported as determinants of species richness along elevation gradients. However, how these factors interact to shape small mammal species richness along the dry Andes ecosystem is not well understood. The objectives of this paper were to analyze patterns of species diversity along the central dry Andes, and to evaluate how climatic and topographic factors explain diversity patterns. Our results showed a positive and monotonic relationship between small mammal species richness and altitude, whereas abundance patterns showed a midelevation peak. Climate and topography were the most important predictor variables explaining small mammal species richness and abundance patterns in the Andes. This study underlines the role of the Andes in promoting and sustaining biodiversity, as well as the need to encourage conservation planning in mountain ecosystems.

Los patrones de biodiversidad son el resultado de la interacción entre numerosos factores contemporáneos y eventos históricos que propician la especiación alopátrica. Numerosos factores climáticos y topográficos han sido mencionados como determinantes para los patrones altitudinales de riqueza de especies. Sin embargo es poco conocido aún como estos factores interactúan para modelar la riqueza de especies a lo largo de la Cordillera de los Andes. Los objetivos de este trabajo fueron analizar los patrones de diversidad de especies a lo largo de los Andes templados, y evaluar como los factores climáticos y topográficos explican los patrones de riqueza y abundancia de especies. Nuestros resultados muestran una relación monotónica y positiva entre riqueza de especies y altura. Mientras el patrón de abundancia es unimodal. Para ambos patrones el clima y la topografía son las variables predictoras más importantes. Este estudio resalta el rol de los Andes en promover y sostener la biodiversidad, y acentúa la necesidad de fomentar planes de conservación en ecosistemas montanos.

Agustina Novillo and Ricardo A. Ojeda "Elevation patterns in rodent diversity in the dry Andes: disentangling the role of environmental factors," Journal of Mammalogy 95(1), 99-107, (1 February 2014). https://doi.org/10.1644/13-MAMM-A-086.1
Received: 4 April 2013; Accepted: 1 August 2013; Published: 1 February 2014
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