Differential success in sampling of Atlantic Forest amphibians among different periods of the day
Brazilian Journal of Biology
In general, anurans tend to be nocturnal, though diurnal activity is characteristic of some groups. Studies show that frog activity may be inferred based on the number of individuals collected at different periods of the day, during large-scale field surveys. We investigated the best period of the day to conduct amphibian sampling in nine Atlantic Rainforest areas in southeastern Brazil, based on intensive field surveys. At each locality we employed similar sampling effort during diurnal,
... ring diurnal, crepuscular and nocturnal searches (totaling 704.5 sampling hours). We pooled data from all localities for each period and estimated the proportion of frogs of each species active at each period based on the total number of individuals and on the number of species found during all surveys for that period. We recorded a total of 817 individual frogs from 69 species. Species richness was highest at night (median = 12 species), intermediate at dusk (median = 8), and lowest during the day (median = 4). The percentage of the total number of individual frogs found (pooled species) was highest during the night (ca. 53%) and lowest during the day (ca. 14%). Analyzing each species separately, the number of individuals recorded was consistently higher at dusk and night for most species. Our study evidences a trend for nocturnal activity for most Atlantic Rainforest frogs, with few species having primarily diurnal habits. Those results may favor future studies and conservation efforts for amphibian species.