Altitudinal variation of species composition of small non-flying mammals in the Yungas region of Bolivia

Adriana Rico-Cernohorska, Jorge Salazar-Bravo, José Martinez, Susana G. Revollo-Cadima, Pavel Kindlmann


The Cotapata National Park and Natural Area for Integrated Management (PN-ANMI) is located on the eastern escarpments of the Eastern Cordillera in Bolivia.  It has an altitudinal range between 1,100-5,600 masl, with five altitudinally delimited ecological zones. There is great variability of environments, which generates great animal species diversity, varying according to elevation, and in association with changes in climatic and ecological conditions.  The aim of this study was to determine the pattern of richness and composition of small non-flying mammals along an altitudinal gradient in the PN-ANMI Cotapata and to evaluate responses of these species to the gradient.  We worked at three different elevations: Yungas Forest (1,400 masl), Cloud Forest (2,100 masl) and Yungas Paramo (3,500 masl).  Six temporary replicas were conducted.  For each sampling period we run three 250 m linear transects were placed, separated by 50 m attitudinally.  Each transect contained 25 sampling stations, with two snap traps.  With the exception of Yungas Paramo (due to the rocky ground), we also run transects of pitfall barrier traps (five buckets, every 5 m).  We captured 460 specimens corresponding to 20 species of rodents and two of marsupials.  Although, species richness (S) and diversity (Cinv) were higher in Cloud Forest (intermediate elevation; S = 11, Cinv = 4.30), followed by Yungas Forest (S = 9, Cinv = 3.47), and lower in Yungas Paramo (higher elevation; S = 8, Cinv = 2.12), only the diversity was significantly different (H = 7.0, n = 17, P = 0.03).  Species composition varied between places, showing the greatest turnover between Cloud Forest and Yungas Paramo, with a similarity of only 2 %.  Yungas Paramo had the highest number of exclusive species (seven of the eight registered).  The diversity was higher at medium altitude, giving a positive monoclinal hump-shaped pattern.  This variation, responds to climatic influences associated with changes in vegetation, where Cloud Forest provides a greater diversity of ecological niches.  The lower diversity in Yungas Paramo, and the almost total species turnover responds to inhospitable and stress conditions and to the physiological adaptations of these species to these elevations.

Palabras clave

altitudinal gradient; Cotapata National Park; distribution; rodents; Eastern mountain range; non-volant small mammals; replacement.

Texto completo:

PDF (English) HTML


AD HOC COMMITTEE FOR ANIMAL CARE GUIDELINES. 1998. Guidelines for the capture, handling, and care of mammals as approved by the American Society of Mammalogists. Journal of Mammalogy 79:1416-1431.

AGUIRRE, L. F., T. TARIFA, R. B. WALLACE, N. BERNAL, L. SILES, E. ALIAGA-ROSSEL, AND J. SALAZAR-BRAVO. 2019. Lista actualizada y comentada de los mamíferos de Bolivia. Ecología en Bolivia 54:107-147.

ANDERSON, S. 1997. Mammals of Bolivia, taxonomy y distribution. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 231:1-652.

ANDRADE, A., AND A. MONJEAU. 2014. Patterns in community assemblage and species richness of small mammals across an altitudinal gradient in semi-arid Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Arid Environments 106:18-26.

BATEMAN, B. L., A. S KUTT, E. P. VANDERDUYS, AND J. E. KEMP. 2010. Small-mammal species richness and abundance along a tropical altitudinal gradient: an Australian example. Journal of Tropical Ecology 26:139-149.

BECK, S. 1988. Las ecorregiones ecológicas y las unidades fitogeográficas de Bolivia. Pp. 233-267 in Manual de Ecología (de Morales, C. ed.). Instituto de Ecología-UMSA. La Paz, Bolivia.

BEGON, M., R. C. TOWNSEND, AND J. L. HARPER. 2006. Ecology: from individuals to ecosystems 4th ed. Ed Blackwell Publishing. Oxford, U.K.

BROWN, J. H. 1988. Species diversity. Pp 57-89 in Analytical biogeography (Myers A. and R. S. Giller, eds.). Chapman and Hall. Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

BROWN, J. H. 2001. Mammals on mountainsides: elevational patterns of diversity. Global Ecology and Biogeography 10:101-109.

BROWN, J. H., AND A. KODRIC-BROWN. 1977. Turnover rates in insular biogeography: effect of immigration on extinction. Ecology 58: 445-449.

BROWN, J. H., S. K. M. ERNEST, J. M. PARODY, AND J. P. HASKELL. 2001. Regulation of diversity: maintenance of species richness in changing environments. Oecologia 126:321–332

CHANETON, E. J., AND J. M. FACELLI. 1991. Disturbance effects on plant community diversity: spatial scales and dominance hierarchies. Vegetatio 93:143-155.

COLWELL, R. K., AND G. C. HURTT. 1994. Nonbiological gradients in species richness and a spurious Rapoport effect. American Naturalist 144:570-595.

COLWELL, R. K., AND D. C. LEES. 2000. The mid-domain effect: geometric constraints on the geography of species richness. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15:70-76.

CURRIE, D. J., AND J. T. KERR. 2008. Tests of the mid-domain hypothesis: a review of the evidence. Ecological Monographs 78:3-18.

Cruz, L. E., C. Lorenzo, O. G. Retana, and E. C. Sántiz. 2010. Interspecific variability in the abundance of small rodents in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Therya 1:129-136.

DE OLIVEIRA, J. A., AND P. R. GONÇALVES. 2015. Genus Oxymycterus Water house, 1837. Pp. 247-268 in Mammals of South America, Volume 2. Rodents (Patton J. L., U. F. J. Pardiñas and G. D’Elía, eds.). The University of Chicago Press. Chicago, U.S.A.

DREISS, L. M., K. R. BURGIO, L. M. CISNEROS, B. T. KLINGBEIL, B. D. PATTERSON, S. J. PRESLEY, AND M. R. WILLIG. 2015. Taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic dimensions of rodent biodiversity along an extensive tropical elevational gradient. Ecography 38:876-888.

ESCALANTE, E. T. 2003. ¿Cuántas especies hay? Los estimadores no paramétricos de Chao. Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla Elementos: Ciencia y Cultura 52:53-56.

GANNON, W. L., R. S. SIKES, AND THE ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MAMMALOGISTS. 2007. Guidelines of the American Society of Mammalogists for the use of wild mammals in research. Journal of Mammalogy 88: 809-823.

HAMMER, Ø., D. A. T. HARPER, AND P. D. RYAN. 2001. PAST: Paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontologia Electronica 4:1-9.

HEANEY, L. R. 2001. Small mammal diversity along elevational gradients in the Philippines: an assessment of patterns and hypotheses. Global Ecology and Biogeography 10:15-39.

HERZOG, S. K., M. KESSLER, AND K. BACH. 2005. The elevational gradient in Andean bird species richness at the local scale: a foothill peak and a high‐elevation plateau. Ecography 28:209-222.

HILL, J. K., AND K. C. HAMER. 2004. Determining impacts of habitat modification on diversity of tropical forest fauna: the importance of spatial scale. Journal of Applied Ecology 41:744-754.

HURTADO, N., AND V. PACHECO. 2017. Revision of Neacomys spinosus (Thomas, 1882) (Rodentia: Cricetidae) with emphasis on Peruvian populations and the description of a new species. Zootaxa 4242:401-440.

IDENTIDAD MADIDI, AND SERNAP. 2019. Informe de la expedición científica Identidad Madidi 2016. Relevamientos de biodiversidad en el Parque Nacional y Área de Manejo Integrado Madidi. La Paz, Bolivia.

KELT, D. 1999. Assemblage structure and quantitative habitat relations of small mammals along an ecological gradient in the Colorado Desert of southern California. Ecography 22:659-673.

KÖRNER, C. 2007. The use of ‘altitude’ in ecological research. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22:569-574.

LOMOLINO, M. V. 2001. Elevation gradients of species-density: historical and prospective views. Global Ecology and Biogeography 10:3-13.

LUÉVANO, J., E. MELLINK, M. E. RIOJAS-LÓPEZ, AND J. L. FLORES-FLORES. 2008. Comunidad de roedores nocturnos en un ecotono de matorrales micrófilos y zacatal gipsófilo en San Luis Potosí, México. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 79:197-203.

MACARTHUR, R. H., AND J. W. MACARTHUR. 1961. On bird species diversity. Ecology 42:594-598.

MCCAIN, C. M. 2003. North American desert rodents: a test of the mid-domain effect in species richness. Journal of Mammalogy 84:967-980.

MCCAIN, C. M. 2004. The mid-domain effect applied to elevational gradients: species richness of small mammals in Costa Rica. Journal of Biogeography 31:19-31.

MCCAIN, C. M. 2005. Elevational gradients in diversity of small mammals. Ecology 86:366-372.

MCCAIN, C. M. 2007. Area and mammalian elevational diversity. Ecology 88:76-86.

MCCAIN, C. M. 2009. Vertebrate range sizes indicate that mountains may be “higher” in the tropics. Ecology Letters 12:550-560.

MD NOR, S. M. D. 2001. Elevational diversity patterns of small mammals on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Global Ecology and Biogeography 10:41-62.

MENA, J. L., S. SOLARI, J. P. CARRERA, L. F. AGUIRRE, AND H. GÓMEZ. 2011. Small mammal diversity in the Tropical Andes: an overview. Pp. 260-27 in Climat Change and Biodiversity in the Tropical Andes (Herzog, S. K., R. Martínez, R. M. Jørgensen, and H. Tiessen, eds.). São José dos Campos, Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research and Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment. Sao Paulo, Brazil.

MONTAÑO‐CENTELLAS, F. A., C. MCCAIN, AND B. A. LOISELLE. 2020. Using functional and phylogenetic diversity to infer avian community assembly along elevational gradients. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 29(2), 232–245.

MOYA, I., E. ALIAGA-ROSEL, A. RICO, J. SALAZAR-BRAVO, AND R. GALEÓN. 2015. Los mamíferos del valle de La Paz. Pp. 671-722 in Historia Natural de un Valle en los Andes: La Paz (Moya M. I., R. I. Meneses, and J. Sarmiento, eds.). Museo Nacional de Historia Natural. La Paz, Bolivia.

NAVARRO, G., AND M. MALDONADO. 2002. Geografía ecológica de Bolivia: Vegetación y ambientes acuáticos. Centro de Ecología Simón I. Patiño. Santa Cruz-Bolivia.

NAVAS, C. A. 2006. Patterns of distribution of anurans in high Andean tropical elevations: insights from integrating biogeography and evolutionary physiology. Integrative and comparative Biology 46:82-91.

NORUŠIS, M J. AND SPSS INC. SPSS. 1990. Advanced Statistics Users Guide. SPSS Inc. Chicago, U.S.A.

NOVILLO, A., AND R. A. OJEDA. 2014. Elevation patterns in rodent diversity in the dry Andes: disentangling the role of environmental factors. Journal of Mammalogy 95:99-107.

PACHECO, V. 2015. Genus Thomasomys Coues, 1884. Pp. 617-682 in Mammals of South America, Volume 2. Rodents (Patton J. L., U. F. J. Pardiñas, and G. D’Elía, eds.). The University of Chicago Press. Chicago, U.S.A.

PARDIÑAS, U. F. J., P. TETA, P. E. ORTIZ, J. P. JAYAT, AND J. SALAZAR- BRAVO. 2015a. Genus Necromys Ameghino, 1889. Pp. 232-247 in Mammals of South America, Volume 2. Rodents (Patton J. L., U. F. J. Pardiñas and G. D’Elía, eds.). The University of Chicago Press. Chicago, U.S.A.

PARDIÑAS, U. F. J., P. TETA, D. ALVARADO-SERRANO, L. GEISE, J. P. JAYAT, P. E. ORTIZ, P. R. GONÇALVES, AND G. D’ELÍA. 2015b. Genus Akodon Meyen, 1833. Pp. 144-204 in Mammals of South America, Volume 2. Rodents (Patton J. L., U. F. J. Pardiñas, and G. D’Elía, eds.). The University of Chicago Press. Chicago, U.S.A.

PATTERSON, B. D., P. L. MESERVE, AND B. K. LANG. 1989. Distribution and abundance of small mammals along an elevational transect in temperate rainforests of Chile. Journal of Mammalogy 70:67-78.

PATTERSON, B. D., D. F. STOTZ, S. SOLARI, J. W. FITZPATRICK, AND V. PACHECO. 1998. Contrasting patterns of elevational zonation for birds and mammals in the Andes of southeastern Peru. Journal of Biogeography 25:593-607.

PATTON, J. L. 1986. Patrones de distribución y especiación de la fauna de mamíferos de los bosques nublados andinos del Perú. Anales del Museo de Historia Natural de Valparaíso 17:87-94.

PATTON, J. L., AND M. F. SMITH. 1992. mtDNA Phylogeny of Andean mice: a test of diversification across ecological gradients. Evolution 46:174-183.

PATTON J. L., AND R. N. LEITE. 2015. Genus Proechimys J. A. Allen, 1899. Pp. 950-989 in Mammals of South America, Volume 2. Rodents (Patton J. L., U. F. J. Pardiñas, and G. D’Elía, eds.). The University of Chicago Press. Chicago, U.S.A.

PATTON, J. L., M. Z. DA SILVA, AND R. J. MALCOLM. 2000. Mammals of the Rio Juruá and the evolutionary and ecological diversification of Amazonia. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 244:306.

PATTON, J. L., U. F. J. PARDIÑAS, AND G. D’ELÍA (ED). 2015. Mammals of South America, Volume 2. Rodents. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago, U.S.A.

PERCEQUILLO A. R. 2015. Genus Nephelomys Weksler, Percequillo, y Voss, 2006. Pp. 377-390 in Mammals of South America, Volume 2. Rodents (Patton J. L., U. F. J. Pardiñas, and G. D’Elía, eds.). The University of Chicago Press. Chicago, U.S.A.

PIELOU, E. C. 1966. Species diversity and pattern diversity in the study of ecological succession. Journal of Theoretical Biology 10:370-383.

PRESLEY, S. J., L. M. CISNEROS, B. D. PATTERSON, AND M. R. WILLIG. 2012. Vertebrate metacommunity structure along an extensive elevational gradient in the tropics: a comparison of bats, rodents and birds. Ecological Biogeography 21:968-976.

QUINTERO, I., AND W. JETZ. 2018. Global elevational diversity and diversification of birds. Nature 555: 246–250.

RAHBEK, C. 1995. The elevational gradient of species richness: a uniform pattern? Ecography 18:200-205.

REIG, O. A. 1986. Diversity patterns and differentiation of high Andean rodents. Pp. 404-439 in High altitude tropical biogeography (Monasterio M., and F. Vuilleumier, eds.). New York: Oxford University Press. New York, U.S.A.

RIBERA-ARISMENDI, M. O. 1995. Caminos de Cotapata. Instituto de Ecología, La Paz-Bolivia.

RICKART, E. A. 2001. Elevational diversity gradients, biogeography and the structure of montane mammal communities in the intermountain region of North America. Global Ecology and Biogeography 10:77-100.

ROSENZWEIG, M. L. 1992. Species diversity gradients: we know more and less than we thought. Journal of Mammalogy 73:715-730.

SALAZAR-BRAVO, J. 2015. Genus Auliscomys Osgood, 1915. Pp. 472-479 in Mammals of South America, Volume 2. Rodents (Patton J. L., U. F. J. Pardiñas, and G. D’Elía, eds.). The University of Chicago Press. Chicago, U.S.A.

SALAZAR-BRAVO, J., AND T. L. YATES. 2007. A new species of Thomasomys (Cricetidae: Sigmodontinae) from central Bolivia. Pp. 747-774 in The Quintessential Naturalist: Honoring the Life and Legacy of Oliver P. Pearson (Kelt, D. A., E. P Lessa, J. Salazar-Bravo, and J. L Patton, eds.). University of California Publications in Zoology 134: 1-981.

SALAZAR-BRAVO, J., T. L. YATES, AND M. ZALLES. 2002. Los Mamíferos de Bolivia. Pp. 65-113 in Diversidad y Conservación de los Mamíferos de Latino América (Ceballos G., and J. Simmoneti, eds.). CONABIO-UNAM, México.

SALAZAR- BRAVO, J., E. YENSEN, T. TARIFA, AND T. L. YATES. 2002. Distributional records of Bolivian mammals. Mastozoología Neotropical 9:70-78.

SALAZAR-BRAVO, J., T. TARIFA, L. F. AGUIRRE, E. YENSEN, AND T. L. YATES. 2003. Revised Checklist of Bolivian Mammals. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University 220:1-27.

SÁNCHEZ-CORDERO, V. 2001. Elevation gradients of diversity for rodents and bats in Oaxaca, Mexico. Global Ecology and Biogeography 10:63-76.

SANDERS, N.J., AND C. RAHBEK. 2012. The patterns and causes of elevational diversity gradients. Ecography 35:1-3.

SANTOS, A., M. A. BRIONES, AND R. LÓPEZ. 2007. Diferencias en algunos parámetros demográficos de Oryzomys chapmani (Rodentia: Muridae) asociadas a tres estados sucesionales de bosque mesófilo de montañas en Oaxaca, México. Acta Zoológica Mexicana 23:123-137.

SEVILLA-CALLEJO, M., AND R. MATA-OLMO. 2007. Introducción a las dinámicas territoriales en el área oriental del Parque Nacional y ANMI Cotapata (La Paz, Bolivia). Ecología en Bolivia 2:1-14.

SOLARI, S. 2007. Trophic Relationships Within a Highland Rodent Assemblage from Manu National Park, Cusco, Peru. Pp. 225-240, in The Quintessential Naturalist: Honoring the Life and Legacy of Oliver P. Pearson (Kelt, D. A., E. P. Lessa, J. Salazar-Bravo, and J. L. Patton, eds.). University of California Publications in Zoology 134:1-981.

SOLARI, S., V. PACHECO, L. LUNA, P. M. VELAZCO, AND B. D. PATTERSON. 2006. Mammals of the Manu Biosphere Reserve. Fieldiana: Zoology, n.s. 110:13-22.

STEVENS, G. C. 1992. The elevational gradient in altitudinal Range: An extension of Rapoport’s latitudinal rule to altitude. American Naturalist 140:893-911.

SWENSON, J. J., B. E. YOUNG, S. BECK, P. COMER, J. H. CÓRDOVA, J. DYSON, D. EMBERT, F. ENCARNACIÓN, W. FERREIRA, I. FRANKE, D. GROSSMAN, P. HERNANDEZ, S. K. HERZOG, C. JOSSE, G. NAVARRO, V. PACHECO, B. A. STEIN, M. TIMANÁ, A. TOVAR, C. TOVAR, J. VARGAS, AND C. M. ZAMBRANA-TORRELIO. 2012. Plant and animal endemism in the eastern Andean slope: challenges to conservation. BMC. Ecology 12:1-18.

TERBORGH, J. 1977. Bird species diversity on an Andean elevational gradient. Ecology 8:1007-1019.

TRIBE, C. J. 2015. Genus Rhipidomys Tschudi, 1845. Pp. 583-617, in Mammals of South America, Volume 2. Rodents (Patton J. L., U. F. J. Pardiñas and G. D’Elía, eds.). The University of Chicago Press. Chicago, U.S.A.

VARGAS, J., P. FLORES, AND J. MARTÍNEZ. 2018. Pequeños mamíferos en dos áreas protegidas de la vertiente oriental boliviana, considerando la variación altitudinal y la formación vegetacional. Revista Virtual Redesma.

VILLALPANDO, G. 2004. Variación altitudinal y temporal de roedores y marsupiales en el área del cerro Hornuni del Parque Nacional y Área de manejo Integrado Cotapata. Tesis de Grado, Carrera de Biología- Universidad Mayor de San Andrés. La Paz, Bolivia 104p.

VILLALPANDO, G., J. VARGAS AND J. SALAZAR-BRAVO. 2006. First record of Rhagomys (Mammalia: Sigmodontinae) in Bolivia. Mastozoología Neotropical 13:143-149.

VIVAR, E. 2006. Análisis de distribución altitudinal de mamíferos pequeños en el Parque Nacional Yanachaga-Chemillén, Pasco, Perú. Tesis de Maestría. Lima: Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Lima, Perú.

VOSS, R. S., T. TARIFA AND E. YENSEN. 2004. An introduction to Marmosops (Marsupialia: Didelphidae), with the description of a new species from Bolivia and notes on the taxonomy and distribution of other Bolivian forms. American Museum Novitates 3466:1-40.

WALLACE, R. B., H. GÓMEZ, Z. R. PORCEL, AND D. I. RUMIZ (EDS.). 2010. Distribución, Ecología y Conservación de los Mamíferos Medianos y Grandes de Bolivia. Centro de Ecología Difusión Simón I. Patiño. Santa Cruz,Bolivia.

WEKSLER, M., A. R. PERCEQUILLO, AND R. S. VOSS. 2006. Ten new genera of Oryzomyine rodents (Cricetidae: Sigmodontinae). American Museum Novitates 3537:1-29.

WHITTAKER, R. H. 1977. Evolution of species diversity in land communities. Evolutionary Biology 10:1-67.

WILLIG, M. R., AND S. J. PRESLEY. 2016. Biodiversity and metacommunity structure of animals along altitudinal gradients in tropical montane forests. Journal of Tropical Ecology 32:421-436.

WILLIG, M. R., AND E. A. SANDLIN. 1992. Gradients of species density and species turnover in New World bats: a comparison of quadrat and band methodologies. Pp. 81-96 in Latin American Mammalogy (Mares M. A., and D. J. Schmidly, eds.). University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Oklahoma, U.S.A.

ZAR, J. H. 2010. Biostatistical Analysis, 5th ed. Northern Illinois University. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. New Jersey, U.S.A.

Enlaces refback

  • No hay ningún enlace refback.


THERYA es publicada por la Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología A. C.  Se distribuye bajo una Licencia de Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivar 4.0 Internacional.

DERECHOS DE AUTOR Y DERECHOS CONEXOS, THERYA es una publicación digital cuatrimestral editada por la Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología A. C.  Hacienda Vista Hermosa 107, Colonia Villa Quietud, Coyoacan 04960.  Distrito Federal, México.  Telefono (612) 123-8486,  Editor responsable: Dr. Sergio Ticul Álvarez Castañeda (  Reservas de Derechos al Uso Exclusivo No. 04-2009-112812171700-102, ISSN: 2007-3364 ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional de Derechos de Autor.  Responsable de la última actualización de este número, Unidad de informática de la Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología A. C.  Dr. Sergio Ticul Álvarez Castañeda.  Instituto Politécnico Nacional 195.  La Paz, Baja California Sur, C. P. 23096.  Tel 612 123 8486.