Is Rich and Rare the Common Share? Describing Biodiversity Patterns to Inform Conservation Practices for South American Anurans

Villalobos, Fabricio; Dobrovolski, Ricardo; Provete, Diogo B.; Gouveia, Sidney F.
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Species richness and range size are key features of biogeographic and macroecological analyses, which can yield a first assessment tool to define conservation priorities. Here we combined both features in a simultaneous analysis, based on range-diversity plots, to identify sets of rich-rare (high species richness with restricted ranges) and poor-rare cells (low species richness with restricted ranges). We applied this analysis to the anurans of South America and evaluated the representation of those sets of cells within the protected area system. South American anurans showed high species richness in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and East Tropical Andes, while regions harboring most of the rare species were concentrated in the Andes and Atlantic Coast from North-Eastern Brazil to River Plate. Based on such patterns, we identified as rich-rare cells the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and Tropical Andes and as poor-rare cells the southern part of Andes and Uruguay. A low fraction of both sets of cells was represented within the protected area system. We show that a simultaneous consideration of species richness and rarity provides a rapid assessment of large-scale biodiversity patterns and may contribute to the definition of conservation priorities.


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