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Ecological Evidence Supports the Creation of a Sanctuary for Amphibian Communities in a Biodiversity Hotspot in Cameroon

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Animal community assemblages have been suggested to be influenced by environmental gradients or biotic processes. In the lower Guinean forest region, contribution of such gradients in shaping community composition especially for amphibian remains poorly understood. Here, using spatial modelling approaches we quantified and visualized the associations between landscape variation, amphibian assemblage and suitability in a hotspot of biodiversity. The distribution of frogs around Mount Manengouba is currently limited by the mountainous landscape, where the elevational gradients are prominent and the tendency of the site to accumulate water is notable. The combination of vegetation, topography, environmental variation and hydrography accounted for up to 62.2% in shaping amphibians assemblages. The suggested ecological reserve around Mount Manengouba will capture most of amphibians of Mount Manengouba coupled with the most suitable habitats and turnover in species composition. We therefore strongly encourage the enforcement of such sanctuary targeting the rich amphibian diversity of this hotspot.
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