Zoological Studies

Vol. 61, 2022

(update: 2022.6.21)

Elevational Distribution of Amphibians: Resolving Distributions, Patterns, and Species Communities in the Republic of Korea

Desiree Andersen1,§, Ming-Feng Chuang2, Minjee Choe1, Ajoung Kim1, Sera Kwon1, Yikweon Jang1, and Amaël Borzée3,§,*

1Division of EcoScience and Department of Life Sciences, Ewha Womans University, 52, Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03760, Republic of Korea. E-mail: desireeka93@hotmail.com (Andersen); minjeechoe@gmail.com (Choe); ajkim129@gmail.com (Kim); sera0622@hanmail.net (Kwon); jangy@ewha.ac.kr (Jang)
2Department of Life Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 40227, Taiwan. E-mail: adammfc@gmail.com (Chuang)
3Laboratory of Animal Behaviour and Conservation, College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China. *Correspondence: E-mail: amaelborzee@gmail.com (Borzée)

§DA and AB contributed equally to this work.
Received 2 September 2021 / Accepted 13 April 2022
Communicated by Yeong-chey Kam

Species biodiversity organises along elevational trends and is generally expected to decrease with increasing elevation. This pattern is regulated by numerous factors, although principally overridden by temperature in ectotherms such as amphibians. Here, we collated elevation data (n = 55182) collected between 1909 and 2020. We then determined elevation distribution patterns and species communities for all amphibians in the Republic of Korea. Species were found to range from sea level up to 1393 m a.s.l. The average elevational distribution was significantly different between species but also between anura and caudata. On average, anura were found at lower elevations with a peak in species richness and abundance matching with the lowlands. In opposition, the peak in species richness and abundance for caudata matched with low hilly landscapes. The altitudinal distributions of species were strongly skewed, with all 23 species found within the 0–199 m range, and steadily decreasing with only five species within the last elevational range (1200–1399 m). Finally, only a few species were found below 30 m, reflecting a likely risk of salinisation in this environment. Our results help understand the altitudinal distribution of amphibians in the Republic of Korea.

Key words: Elevation range, Amphibian, Species communities, Northeast Asia, Altitude.

Citation: Andersen D, Chuang MF, Choe M, Kim A, Kwon S, Jang Y, Borzée A. 2022. Elevational distribution of amphibians: resolving distributions, patterns, and species communities in the Republic of Korea. Zool Stud 61:25. doi:10.6620/ZS.2022.61-25.