Evaluation of survey methods for sampling anuran species richness in the neotropics.
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Species richness is central to ecological theory, with practical applications in conservation, environmental management and monitoring. Several techniques are available for measuring species richness and composition of amphibians in breeding pools, but the relative efficacy of these methods for sampling high-diversity Neotropical amphibian fauna is poorly understood. I evaluated seven studies from south and south-eastern Brazil to compare the relative and combined effectiveness of two methods for measuring species richness at anuran breeding pools: acoustic surveys with visual encounter of adults and dipnet surveys of larvae. I also compared the relative efficacy of each survey method in detecting species with different reproductive modes. Results showed that both survey methods underestimated the number of species when used separately; however, a close approximation of the actual number of species in each breeding pool was obtained when the methods were combined. There was no difference between survey methods in detecting species with different reproductive modes. These results indicate that researchers should employ multiple survey methods that target both adult and larval life history stages in order to accurately assess anuran species richness at breeding pools in the Neotropics.