Oniscidea diversity across three environments in an altitudinal gradient in northeastern Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Lopes, Elis Regina de Carvalho; Mendonça Junior, Milton de Souza; Buckup, Georgina Bond; Araujo, Paula Beatriz


The diversity of Oniscidea across a 1000-m altitudinal gradient comprising three distinct environments—the coastal plain, the highland slopes, and the highlands—was described and analysed. We employed 1 h-long exploratory manual sampling at 41 sites. Fourteen species were identified, of 818 individuals collected. Sampling-effort curves stabilised for all three nvironments; analy-tical estimates of species richness did not exceed the observed value. Abundance did not vary significantly among environments,and local species richness differed only marginally. However, the Shannon diversity index for local sites indicated highland slopes to be significantly more diverse than the coastal region; the same was true for bootstrap estimates at the regional level. Two species appeared in all three environments, comprising 72.7% of the abundance. The coastal region and highlands had one exclusive species each, and the highland slopes had three. The first two environments are more similar to each other than to the slopes, although they are not contiguous. The altitudinal gradient of diversity was hump-shaped, because the highland slopes were most diverse. The reasons for this pattern are not biogeographical; that is, the highland slopes are not a contact zone between the highlands and the coast. A complete explanation depends upon better understanding of the effect of soil type and terrain slope on the diversity of terrestrial isopods.

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  • ICB - Artigos publicados em periódicos