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© the authors. An often overlooked component of research on factors that drive amphibian geographic distributions is description of species range shape. Broad-scale range disjunction has implications for phylogeography, ecology, and conservation, but descriptions of fragmentation are usually based on subjective visual assessment of range maps. Here, we describe a method for objectively quantifying range fragmentation and use this method to describe the patterns of amphibian species range shapes in the southeastern United States, home to the highest amphibian species richness in North America. Species ranges varied widely in degree of fragmentation, from completely contiguous to highly fragmented, and degree of isolation of range fragments. Incorporating ecological niche models added information about finer-scale fragmentation. We also demonstrate that this method can add objectivity to studies that use ecological niche modeling to assess change in range fragmentation through time, enhancing research in conservation and biogeography.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Frontiers of Biogeography