IDEAUS - CENPAT   25626
INSTITUTO DE DIVERSIDAD Y EVOLUCION AUSTRAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Unraveling the patterns of small mammal species richness in the southernmost aridlands of South America
CARBAJO, A.; FORMOSO, A.; PARDIÑAS, U.F.J.; TETA, P.
JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Lugar: Amsterdam; Año: 2016 vol. 2016 p. 136 - 136
Understanding the patterns of species richness is a critical aspect for the conservation of biodiversity. Patagonia is located southern of 40S, mostly covered by an aridland and is the only area of the Southern Hemisphere (excluding Antarctica) that allows the study of a high-latitude terrestrial biota. In this work we describe the spatial variation of species richness of the non-flying small mammal assemblages, covering ~12 of latitude in Patagonia. We analyzed 100,000 specimens and the relation between environmental variables and small mammal richness. Species richness decreased southwards and eastwards and turnover of species was not observed. We found high richness values in the north of Patagonia and high correlations between species richness and environmental variables in the south. We suggest that current species richness distribution in Patagonia is the result of historical (glacial history and main rivers acting as geographic barriers) and current climatic factors (e.g., temperature) along with species ecology. Our results highlight the importance of northern Patagonia as a reservoir of diversity across time and as most of the glacial refuges were potentially located on this area, we might expect it to be more severely impacted by current global warming.