Species distribution patterns result from the combination of multiple factors acting over different spatial and temporal scales. We analyze the distribution patterns of anuran amphibians within the Cerrado domain of South America in a historical framework. First, we provide an updated list of species based on extensive research in zoological collections and fieldwork. We then explore patterns of endemism and the distribution of species occurring both in Cerrado and each of the adjoining domains, providing directions for future hypotheses tests. We found 209 anuran species occurring in localities within Cerrado. Among them, 150 are primarily associated with Cerrado, and 59 are typical of one of the Cerrado adjoining domains. Widespread species account for only 14% of the Cerrado typical species. Species occurring in Cerrado and one adjoining domain present a highly structured spatial pattern in which Amazonian species are restricted to the northwestern Cerrado, Atlantic species to the southeastern Cerrado, Caatinga species to the northeastern Cerrado, and Chaco species to the southwestern Cerrado. Cerrado endemics occur in most localities and in all regions, whereas narrow endemics (< 60,000 km2) are restricted to mountain ranges in central, southeastern, and southwestern Cerrado. The limited distribution of species shared with one of the four adjoining domains highlights the influence of independent species pools more associated with other domains.
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