Factors affecting frog species richness in the Solomon Islands

Pikacha, Patrick, Morrison, Clare, Filardi, Chris and Leung, Luke (2017) Factors affecting frog species richness in the Solomon Islands. Pacific Conservation Biology, 23 4: 387-398. doi:10.1071/PC17011


Author Pikacha, Patrick
Morrison, Clare
Filardi, Chris
Leung, Luke
Title Factors affecting frog species richness in the Solomon Islands
Journal name Pacific Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1038-2097
Publication date 2017-11-13
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/PC17011
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 23
Issue 4
Start page 387
End page 398
Total pages 12
Place of publication Clayton, VIC Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Subject 2303 Ecology
2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
Abstract Studies across large oceanic archipelagos often provide an opportunity for testing different processes driving patterns of species richness. Frogs are among the most abundant vertebrates in the Solomon Islands but little is known of the factors influencing their richness patterns. This study used modelling to determine important ecological and biogeographic factors affecting the species richness of frogs at multiple locations on major islands across the archipelago. Between March 2009 and August 2012, 16 frog species were recorded along 109 transects placed in coastal, lowland, ridge and montane forests across 13 islands. Mean species richness was higher in the North Solomon Islands arc (6.2 species) and decreased eastwards towards the New Georgia islands (4.7 species), and Malaita (3.2 species). A plausible explanation is that the North Solomon Islands arc is closest to New Guinea, a major centre of dispersal in the south-west Pacific. Coastal (4.6 species) and freshwater (4.8 species) forests had lower predicted species richness than lowland, ridge, and montane forest types (all with 6.2 species). In addition, more frogs were predicted in areas with thin leaf litter (6.2 species), dense shrub cover (7.7 species), and moist soils (7.7 species), which are characteristic of undisturbed forests. These results suggest that frog conservation activities in the Solomon Islands should target islands in the west with intact lowland, ridge, and montane forests. Specific knowledge of this nature is vital for amphibian conservation on tropical islands experiencing extensive habitat loss, habitat modification and widespread predicted climate change impacts.
Keyword dispersal centres
forest type
habitat
microclimate
Pleistocene connectivity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Created: Sun, 24 Dec 2017, 08:35:30 EST