Saturday, 24 February 2018

Amphibian assemblages were studied along an elevational gradient from 200-1500masl in a degraded landscape in Chitwan, Nepal. The study aimed to assess patterns of amphibian species richness on the southern and northern slopes of Siraichuli hill using nocturnal and diurnal survey techniques. The effects of environmental variables (altitude, soil temperature, soil moisture, RRI and disturbance level) on amphibian species richness and composition were also explored. Additionally, a comparison between diurnal and nocturnal surveys is presented. A total of 17 species from four families were recorded during the study period. Linear regression showed a declining trend in observed amphibian species richness with increasing elevation on both the southern and northern slopes across both nocturnal and diurnal surveys. Nocturnal surveys detected a greater number of species compared to diurnal surveys. Altitude, soil moisture and RRI index had a combined effect on the observed pattern of species richness on the southern slope, whereas altitude alone was retained as the significant effect on the northern slope. Disturbance negatively impacted species richness on both slopes. More than 55% of species were recorded in the lower sampling sites (below 600m) indicating more favorable climatic conditions for amphibian assemblages at lower elevations. I conclude that amphibian portrayed narrow distribution ranges along the elevation gradients and along with altitude, soil moisture and disturbance also played significant role in the distribution pattern.




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