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Ecological patterns of distribution on gradients of elevation and species diversity of snakes in southern Taiwan

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The study was conducted in southern Taiwan, along a road traversing the study area from 287 to 1680 m a.s.l. from May to October 2003 to investigate the distribution patterns and species diversity of the snakes. A total of 69 individual snakes belonging to 16 species were recorded. The Shannon's index and evenness index of the full study area were 2.4337 and 0.8777, respectively. Moreover, evenness index was 401 to 700 m > 1001 to 1300 m > 701 to 1000 m > 1301 to 1600 m altitudinal zone. The Shannon's index, DMG, and the reciprocal form of the Berger-Parker index (1/d) were 1001 to 1300 m > 401 to 700 m > 701 to 1000 m > 1301 to 1600 m altitudinal zone. Thirty-seven snakes were found in natural forest, 12 in plantation forest, 8 in secondary forest, and 12 in agricultural lands. I concluded that the highest species richness and diversity are found in mid-altitudinal mountains in southern Taiwan.


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