Zoological Studies

Vol. 58, 2019

(update: 2019.06.14; 07.17)

Local-scale Seasonality Shapes Anuran Community Abundance in a Cloud Forest of the Tropical Andes

Pedro M. Villa1,*, Antonio J. Pérez-Sánchez2,*, Francisco Nava3, and Aldemar Acevedo4, and Diego A. Cadenas5


1Fundación para la Conservación de la Biodiversidad, Puerto Ayacucho, Amazonas, Venezuela.
2Thünen Institute of Biodiversity, Braunschweig, Germany. *Correspondence: E-mail: villautana@gmail.com (Villa)
3Laboratorio de Ecología Sensorial, Centro Multidisciplinario de Ciencias, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Mérida, Venezuela. *Correspondence: E-mail: antonio.perez@thuenen.de (Pérez-Sánchez)
4Laboratorio de Biología Evolutiva, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
5Instituto de Ciencias, Ambientales y Ecológicas, Universidad de Los Andes, 5101, Mérida, Venezuela

Received 18 novembro 2018 / Accepted 5 June 2019
Communicated by Yeong-choy Kam

Analysing how seasonality shapes abundance patterns fosters understanding of the processes related to amphibian community assemblies. In this study we analyse the relationship between local seasonal patterns of abundance within the anuran community of the Monte Zerpa Cloud Forest, Mérida Mountain Range (Cordillera de Mérida), in the Venezuelan Andes. We hypothesized that variation in precipitation, temperature, and relative humidity affects the temporal abundance patterns of anurans. Data collection was performed through nocturnal biweekly inspections from 2002 to 2003. Air temperature, relative humidity, and monthly precipitation were considered as variables of climatic seasonality. Generalized linear models were used to evaluate the effect of climatic variables on anuran abundance across seasons. Overall, 542 individuals and four anuran species were recorded in stream tributaries only. The local anuran community was comprised of Hyalinobatrachium duranti, Hyloscirtus platydactylusHyloscirtusjahni, and Pristimantis vanadisae. The most abundant species were H. duranti (288 individuals) and H. platydactylus (145 individuals), representing 53% and 27% of the total anuran abundance, respectively. Differences in abundance between species were observed. Although the total abundance of anurans was higher during the low precipitation season, no significant differences between the two seasons were detected. The variation in anuran abundance was explained by relative humidity and temperature. Our results suggest that the highest abundance of anurans can be expected when temperatures reach favourable levels (15-17°C), relative humidity increases, and precipitation remains constant.

Key words: Anuran assemblages, Centrolenidae, Cordillera de Mérida, Craugastoridae, Hylidae, Hydroperiod.

Citation: Citation: Villa PM, Pérez-Sánchez AJ, Nava F, Acevedo A, Cadenas DA. 2019. Local-scale seasonality shapes anuran community abundance in a cloud forest of the tropical Andes. Zool Stud 58:17. doi:10.6620/ZS.2019.58-17.

Supplementary Materials: Table S1 | Fig. S1 | Fig. S2 | Fig. S3