Environmental, land cover and land use constraints on the distributional patterns of anurans: Leptodacylus species (Anura, Leptodactylidae) from Dry Chaco
MEDINA, REGINA GABRIELA; PONSSA, MARIA LAURA; ARÁOZ, EZEQUIEL
Año: 2016 vol. 2016
Subtropical dry forests are among the most vulnerable biomes to land transformation at a global scale. Among them, the Dry Chaco suffers an accelerated change due to agriculture expansion and intensification. The Dry Chaco ecoregion is characterized by high levels of endemisms and species diversity, which are the result of a variety of climates and reliefs, allowing a wide variety of environments. The amphibian group exhibits a high richness in the Dry Chaco, which has been barely studied in relation to land cover changes. We used ecological niche models (ENMs) to assess the potential geographic distribution of 10 Leptodactylus species (Anura, Leptodactylidae), which are mainly distributed within the Dry Chaco. We characterized these distributions environmentally, analyzed their overlap with land cover classes, and assessed their diversity of ecoregions. Also, we evaluated how these species potential distribution is affected by the transformation of land, and quantified the proportional area of the potential distribution in protected areas. We found that temperature seasonality is the main constraint to the occurrence of the species studied, whose main habitats are savannas, grasslands and croplands. The main threats to these species are the effects of climate change over spatial patterns of seasonality, which could affect their breeding and reproduction mode; the loss of their natural habitat; the exposure to contaminants used by intensive agriculture and their underrepresentation in protected areas.