Australian Systematic Botany Australian Systematic Botany Society
Taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of plants
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The Neotropical region sensu the areas of endemism of terrestrial mammals

Elkin Alexi Noguera-Urbano A B C D and Tania Escalante B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, Unidad de Posgrado, Edificio A primer piso, Circuito de Posgrados, Ciudad Universitaria, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), 04510 Mexico City, Mexico.

B Grupo de Investigación en Biogeografía de la Conservación, Departamento de Biología Evolutiva, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), 04510 Mexico City, Mexico.

C Grupo de Investigación de Ecología Evolutiva, Departamento de Biología, Universidad de Nariño, Ciudadela Universitaria Torobajo, 1175-1176 Nariño, Colombia.

D Corresponding author. Email: elkalexno@gmail.com

Australian Systematic Botany 30(6) 470-484 https://doi.org/10.1071/SB16053
Submitted: 19 November 2016  Accepted: 27 October 2017   Published: 31 January 2018

Abstract

The mammals are the biological group initially analysed by Wallace to define the Neotropical region (NR). Their areas of endemism (Ae) are considered historical patterns, which have been used to describe biogeographic schemes. However, the Ae at regional scale are currently unclear. In the present study, we analyse Ae of mammals at the regional scale and compare them with previous biogeographic schemes of the NR. The Ae of Neotropical terrestrial mammals were identified using the endemicity analysis (software NDM/VNDM). Our results showed that the NR is composed of 10 Ae, supported by 82 endemic taxa (6 families, 29 genera, and 47 species). The Ae showed a NR with multiple boundaries and with a core of higher overlap of the areas of endemism (OAE) from Veracruz and the Pacific coasts of Mexico to the southern limit of Amazonia in Brazil. The NR boundaries vary strikingly with latitude, with substantially more overlapping areas of endemism in the tropical biomes than in the temperate biomes of America. This pattern of OAE is consistent with the higher mammal-species richness zone within the tropical biomes and other biogeographic patterns such as higher productivity and spatial heterogeneity.


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