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Assessing the importance of reproductive modes for the evaluation of altitudinal distribution patterns in tropical frogs

Citation

Siqueira, Carla; Vrcibradic, Davor; Almeida-Gomes, Mauricio; Rocha, Carlos Frederico (2021), Assessing the importance of reproductive modes for the evaluation of altitudinal distribution patterns in tropical frogs, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5hqbzkh50

Abstract

Altitudinal patterns in species richness vary among taxa and are shaped by the intrinsic traits of different organisms and their response to environmental variables. We evaluated the relationship between anuran richness and elevation along local and regional altitudinal gradients within the Brazilian Atlantic Forest based on data from fieldwork (local dataset; 100-1,900 m a.s.l.) and on compiled secondary information (regional dataset; 0-2,300 m a.s.l.). We also tested whether frog distribution patterns were consistent with the predictions of the mid-domain (MDE) and Rapoport effects. In each analysis, we also considered the impact of reproductive mode, classified here as either water-dependent or water-independent, on species richness patterns. Considering the local dataset, species richness decreased with increasing altitude for all species pooled and (more strongly) for the species with water-dependent reproductive mode, whereas the water-independent species presented increased richness at intermediate altitudes. For the regional dataset, richness peaked at intermediate altitudes in all three cases. At the local scale, the observed patterns (except for the water-dependent species) fit the MDE model, whereas at the regional scale, there was no fit in any case. Neither local nor regional data were consistent with the predictions of the Rapoport rule. Our findings indicate a strong influence of reproductive mode on the altitudinal distribution of tropical frogs, and that distribution patterns may vary according to the spatial scale considered. This highlights the importance of taking life-history traits into consideration when assessing the distribution patterns of tropical frog species along environmental gradients.