Implications of continuous amphibian diversity monitoring in Daweishan National Nature Reserve in tropical SE Yunnan, China

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Abstract

Tropical montane ecological systems with complex terrestrial conditions are often recognized as the major reason for biodiversity hotspots in the Indo-China Peninsula. Long-term spatial and temporal turnover data for amphibian species compositions within a region are essential for implementing effective conservation strategies and to design regional protected areas. The present study used a complete 5-year monitoring data series to compare the impacts of different human disturbances on amphibian diversity compositions of the Daweishan Mountains (DNNR) in tropical SE Yunnan, China. The major habitat disturbances occurring at lower elevations were tropical agricultural expansion with the continued disappearance of natural vegetation, and various new artificial habitats have emerged for colonization by amphibians, but tourism activities have arisen recently at mid-higher elevations accompanied by road construction, traffic, and artificial buildings. The data showed that, although the species assemblage of amphibians demonstrated a large difference between the lower and mid-higher elevations, the number of species and individuals were not significantly different regardless of whether the data collected were for the mature or larval stages. Environmental factors, including air and water temperatures, were the major factors regulating the diversity distribution of amphibian assemblages in the Daweishan Mountains. Different disturbances between lower and middle-higher elevations showed similar degree of impacts on the distributions of amphibian diversity. If specified for amphibian diversity conservation in the Daweishan Mountains in the present study, the importance of protecting existing tropical forest fragments in the lowlands and protection from additional human disturbances in the continuous evergreen broadleaf forest in the highlands are equally important.

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Wang, J., Liu, Y. H., Martin, K., Luo, F., & Meng, L. Z. (2019). Implications of continuous amphibian diversity monitoring in Daweishan National Nature Reserve in tropical SE Yunnan, China. Global Ecology and Conservation, 20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00694

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