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Diversity, distribution and molecular species delimitation in frogs and toads from the Eastern Palaearctic
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society  (IF3.286),  Pub Date : 2021-09-08, DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlab083
Christophe Dufresnes, Spartak N Litvinchuk

Biodiversity analyses can greatly benefit from coherent species delimitation schemes and up-to-date distribution data. In this article, we have made the daring attempt to delimit and map described and undescribed lineages of anuran amphibians in the Eastern Palaearctic (EP) region in its broad sense. Through a literature review, we have evaluated the species status considering reproductive isolation and genetic divergence, combined with an extensive occurrence dataset (nearly 85k localities). Altogether 274 native species from 46 genera and ten families were retrieved, plus eight additional species introduced from other realms. Independent hotspots of species richness were concentrated in southern Tibet (Medog County), the circum-Sichuan Basin region, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula and the main Japanese islands. Phylogeographic breaks responsible for recent in situ speciation events were shared around the Sichuan Mountains, across Honshu and between the Ryukyu Island groups, but not across shallow water bodies like the Yellow Sea and the Taiwan Strait. Anuran compositions suggested to restrict the zoogeographical limits of the EP to East Asia. In a rapidly evolving field, our study provides a checkpoint to appreciate patterns of species diversity in the EP under a single, spatially explicit, species delimitation framework that integrates phylogeographic data in taxonomic research.