Measuring the Meltdown: Drivers of Global Amphibian Extinction and Decline

University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 02/2008; 3(2):e1636. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001636
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species) to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545) or had increased (n = 28). These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation.

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Available from: Arvin Cantor Diesmos, Sep 28, 2015
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    • "Thus, metapopulation theory provides a potentially useful framework for assessing the predominant factors influencing patch dynamics of darters in lotic systems. Trait-based approaches to ecological research and management have increasingly been applied to a variety of aquatic taxa, including stream fishes (Craven et al., 2010; Mims et al., 2010), insects (Poff et al., 2006), amphibians (Sodhi et al., 2008) and freshwater mussels (Vaughn, 2012). Trait-based approaches involve the grouping of taxa on the basis of shared characteristics, such as life history, and generalizing observed ecological patterns or responses on the basis of these characteristics (Resh et al., 1994; Townsend and Hildrew, 1994). "
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