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University of the Witwatersrand (2013)

The use of incidence data to estimate bat (Mammalia : Chiroptera) species richness and taxonomic diversity and distinctness within and between the biomes of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland

Seamark, Ernest C.J.

Titre : The use of incidence data to estimate bat (Mammalia : Chiroptera) species richness and taxonomic diversity and distinctness within and between the biomes of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland

Auteur : Seamark, Ernest C.J.

Université de soutenance : University of the Witwatersrand

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2013

Résumé
Species richness and estimates of species richness were calculated based on assemblages of bats, within the biomes of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland following the vegetation classification of Mucina and Rutherford (2006). Similarity indices were used to explore the various relationships between the assemblages between the various biomes. Taxonomic diversity and distinctness examined the various assemblages within each of the biomes to investigate which biomes contained assemblages that were taxonomically diverse and/or taxonomically distinct compared to all species known to occur within South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. The Desert biome had the lowest recorded species richness (5 species), and there was insufficient data to calculate estimates of species richness for this biome. While the Albany had 11 species recorded with species estimates (Est.) ranging between 11-12, then in increasing order - Nama-Karoo (12 species, Est. 13-25 species), Succulent-Karoo (13 species, Est. 15-30 species), Fynbos (17 species, Est. 18-25 species), Indian Ocean Coastal Belt (31 species, Est. 32-36 species), Forest (32 species, Est. 37-46 species), Grassland (39 species, Est. 42-54 species), Azonal (45 species, Est. 49-63 species) and Savanna (57 species, Est. 59-67 species). The mean recorded estimates (based on the averages of all models) and rounding up to a full species indicates that the Albany biome contains the lowest expected species richness of 12 species, then Fynbos and Nama-Karoo (21 species), Succulent-Karoo (22 species), Indian Ocean Coastal Belt (34 species), Forest (43 species), Grassland (49 species), Azonal (54 species) and Savanna (64 species). Sample completeness was calculated for each of the biomes which indicates in ascending order that the Albany biome is 93.2% complete followed by the Indian Ocean Coastal Belt biome (91.1%), Savanna biome (89.9%), Azonal biome (84.1%), Fynbos biome (81.5%), Grassland biome (80.7%), Forest biome (75.8%), Succulent-Karoo biome (61.3%), and Nama-Karoo biome (59.9%). This showed that the Albany biome was found to be the only biome that has been sufficiently sampled. The Jaccard and Sørensen pair wise indices resulted in the clustering of the biomes with similar species richness, due to the large range in species richness (5-57 species) between the biomes. The Lennon et al. (2001) index which is not affected by large species richness between the samples indicated that the Desert and Nama-Karoo assemblages were most dissimilar to one another, while the Indian Ocean Coastal Belt assemblage was the most similar to the remaining biome assemblages. The Albany biome assemblage and Azonal biome assemblage were shown to the most dissimilar to one another. The Grassland, Nama-Karoo and Savanna biomes contribute to higher taxonomic diversity, while the Albany, Azonal, Fynbos, Nama-Karoo and Succulent-Karoo biomes contain lower species richness generally but represent a higher taxonomic distinctness from the chiroptera assemblages in the Grassland and Savanna biomes. The Desert, Forest and Indian Ocean Coastal Belt biomes do not iv contain bat assemblages that are neither taxonomically distinct nor diverse when compared to the taxa of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. The bat assemblage within the Nama-Karoo are both taxonomically diverse and distinct from chiroptera assemblages found within the other nine biomes, requiring a greater focus on conservation actions for the bat species assemblage located within this biome

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