Estimating True Species Richness and the Degree of Hierarchical Structuring of Species Abundances in Eight Frog Communities from the North-Western Ghats of India

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Jean Béguinot

Abstract

The Distribution of Species Abundances within natural communities – when properly analysed – can provide essential information regarding general aspects of the internal organisation of these communities. In particular, true species richness on the one hand and the intensity of the process of hierarchical structuring of species abundances on the other hand may be estimated independently and, thereby, can provide truly complementary information. In turn, specific issues may thereby be addressed. For example, whether one unique dominant factor or numerous combined factors are involved in the structuring process of a community can be tested contradictorily. Although these methods are not new conceptually, their implementation in common practice remains scarce. The reason is that the relevant implementation of these methods requires to be sure that virtually all member-species in the community have been sampled. As exhaustive samplings often reveal difficult to achieve in practice, an appropriate, least-biased procedure of numerical extrapolation of incomplete inventories is imperatively required.

Considering the steadily increasing threats to the environment and biodiversity, especially facing the on-going climatic change, time has come now with ever greater urgency to go beyond the apparent limits of non-exhaustive sampling and make the most of what is available in terms of recorded field data, whatever the degree of incompleteness of species inventories.

As a modest and limited attempt to concretise this wish at the local level, I try, hereafter, to highlight the importance of additional information that may be unveiled  through adequate post-analysis of a set of eight frog communities, recently inventoried by Katwate, Apte & Raut in an amphibian hot-spot in the north-western Ghats of India. At last, the likely variations of both total species richness and the intensity of hierarchical structuring of species abundance are simulated as an answer to the steadily increasing influence of the ongoing climatic change.

Keywords:
Species diversity, species abundance, rank abundance distribution, amphibians, anurans, incomplete sampling, numerical extrapolation, climate change.

Article Details

How to Cite
Béguinot, J. (2018). Estimating True Species Richness and the Degree of Hierarchical Structuring of Species Abundances in Eight Frog Communities from the North-Western Ghats of India. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 8(2), 118-137. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2018/v8i227147
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Method Article