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Keywords:

  • Australia;
  • bioclim;
  • climate envelope modelling;
  • distribution analysis;
  • Heleioporus australiacus;
  • principal components analysis

Abstract

Aim  A bioclimatic analysis of the giant burrowing frog was conducted to determine if the northern and southern populations have distinct climatic profiles and to determine if the disjunction in the species records is a result of a climatically unsuitable area.

Location  The study utilized records throughout the species range in south-eastern Australia.

Methods  The bioclim package was used to examine the climatic envelope of the species, as well as envelopes for the southern and northern populations. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used in an attempt to refine the model.

Results  The package predicted the observed gap between the populations as climatically suitable in all of the models. The northern populations were found in warmer and wetter sites than the southern populations. River valleys and coastal lowlands were generally unsuitable climatically for the species.

Main conclusions  The area of the observed disjunction is climatically suitable for both the northern and southern populations. Large river valleys appear to have played a significant role in determining the distribution of the species. PCA was used successfully to alter the model, however further research is needed to determine which is the most accurate approach.