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ZOOLOGICAL RESEARCH    2010, Vol. 31 Issue (6) : 633-644     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2010.06633
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Bats and marsupials as indicators of endemism in the Yungas forest of Argentina
María L Sandoval 1, Claudia A Szumik 2, Rubén M Barquez 1 ,*
1. PIDBA (Research Program of Argentinean Biodiversity), Natural Sciences Faculty and Miguel Lillo Institute, National University of Tucuman, Miguel Lillo 205, San Miguel de Tucumán, CP 4000, Tucumán, Argentina; and CONICET (National Council of Scientific and Technical Researches), Argentina; 2. INSUE (Superior Institute of Entomology “Dr. Abraham Willink”), Natural Sciences Faculty and Miguel Lillo Institute, National University of Tucuman, Miguel Lillo 205, San Miguel de Tucumán, CP 4000, Tucumán, Argentina; and CONICET (National Council of Scientific and Technical Researches), Argentina
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Several studies have characterized the Yungas as a separate biogeographic unit, mainly based in floristic components. However, these characterizations were mainly qualitative and did not include faunal groups. The Yungas have been assumed as a region with rich floral and faunal diversity, but without testing how well they are described by animal distributions. Our study consists of a formal analysis of endemism based on distribution of small mammals in the southernmost portion of the Yungas. This area is biogeographically very interesting because the Yungas are comprised of discontinuous fragments of forests that extend into temperate arid and semiarid habitats. As a first approximation, we contrasted a group of volant species (bats) versus a group of non-volant species (marsupials). Our results show that small mammals are efficient indicators of endemism in Yungas. Eighty percent of the species of small marsupials included in the analysis supported the identified areas as being zones of endemism. Regarding bats, almost 55 percent of the species supported a designation of endemism. The results also show that the areas we considered are congruent with the botanical definition of the Yungas of northwestern Argentina and their subdivisions, an assumption that had not been previously tested with a formal quantitative method. We also found that non-volant species are better indicators of endemism than volant ones at regional scales, but volant species are better indicators than was previously thought.
Keywords Andean rainforests      Chiroptera      Didelphimorphia      Optimality criterion      Small mammals     
PACS:  Q958.155  
Corresponding Authors: Rubén M Barquez   
About author: María L Sandoval
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María L Sandoval,Claudia A Szumik,Rubén M Barquez. Bats and marsupials as indicators of endemism in the Yungas forest of Argentina. ZOOLOGICAL RESEARCH, 2010, 31(6): 633-644.
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