David Bickford

David Bickford
National Taiwan University | NTU · International College

PhD Biology 2001

About

102
Publications
94,826
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9,530
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2008 - June 2016
National University of Singapore
Position
  • Professor
January 2002 - January 2005
University of Texas at Austin
August 1992 - January 2001
University of Miami

Publications

Publications (102)
Preprint
The commercial trade in frogs and their body parts is global, dynamic, and occurs in extremely large volumes (in the thousands of tonnes/yr or billions of frogs/yr). The European Union remains the single largest importer of frogs’ legs, with most frogs still caught from the wild. Among the many drivers of species extinction or population decline (e...
Article
Urbanization transforms environments in ways that alter biological evolution. We examined whether urban environmental change drives parallel evolution by sampling 110,019 white clover plants from 6169 populations in 160 cities globally. Plants were assayed for a Mendelian antiherbivore defense that also affects tolerance to abiotic stressors. Urban...
Article
Urbanization transforms environments in ways that alter biological evolution. We examined whether urban environmental change drives parallel evolution by sampling 110,019 white clover plants from 6169 populations in 160 cities globally. Plants were assayed for a Mendelian antiherbivore defense that also affects tolerance to abiotic stressors. Urban...
Article
Emerging infectious diseases are on the rise in many different taxa, including, among others, the amphibian batrachochytrids, the snake fungal disease and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, responsible for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in mammals. Following the onset of the pandemic linked to COVID-19, eas...
Article
Full-text available
Frogs of the genus Microhyla include some of the world's smallest amphibians and represent the largest radiation of Asian microhylids, currently encompassing 50 species, distributed across the Oriental biogeographic region. The genus Microhyla remains one of the taxonomically most challenging groups of Asian frogs and was found to be paraphyletic w...
Chapter
Climate change and air pollution are closely linked; climate change is caused by air pollution, and climate change makes air pollution worse. Air pollution from human society is the key factor currently driving climate change. As it is a significant existential threat to society, climate change is not only the subject of intense scientific research...
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The southern river terrapin, Batagur affinis is one of the world's 25 most endangered freshwater turtle species. The major portion of the global population is currently found in peninsular Malaysia, with the only remnant Indochinese population in southern Cambodia. For more than a decade, wild nests in this remnant Cambodian population have been fe...
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Southeast (SE) Asia holds high regional biodiversity and endemism levels but is also one of the world's most threatened regions. Local, regional and global threats could have severe consequences for the future survival of many species and the provision of ecosystem services. In the face of myriad pressing environmental problems, we carried out a r...
Article
Aim Amphibians exhibit two basic reproductive modes, terrestrial and aquatic, each with different ecophysiological constraints related to evaporative water loss. We hypothesize that these fundamental niche differences will generate strong geographical patterns at the global scale in response to spatial heterogeneity in temperature and water availab...
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Assessing species' vulnerability to climate change is a prerequisite for developing effective strategies to conserve them. The last three decades have seen exponential growth in the number of studies evaluating how, how much, why, when, and where species will be impacted by climate change. We provide an overview of the rapidly developing field of c...
Article
Elephants are widely recognized as ecosystem engineers. To date, most research on ecosystem engineering by elephants has focused on Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis , and the role of Elephas maximus is much less well-known. We here report observations of anuran eggs and larva in water-filled tracks (n=20) of E. maximus in Myanmar. Our obse...
Chapter
Amphibians are important components of ecosystems worldwide and are already being negatively affected by contemporary rapid changes in climate. Climate strongly affects the distribution, abundance, and ecology of amphibian species. Changes in climate will have impacts on amphibian biodiversity that are not uniform across the globe. We highlight geo...
Article
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Parental care has evolved many times in multiple taxa and, by definition, enhances offspring survivorship. Anurans exhibit a diverse array of parental care behaviors, but studies examining their adaptive significance in an evolutionary context are limited. The critically endangered bush frog, Raorchestes chalazodes (Rhacophoridae), only breeds insi...
Article
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Parasites are essential components of ecosystems and can be instrumental in maintaining host diversity and populations; however, their role in trophic interactions has often been overlooked. Three apicomplexan parasite species of Sarcocystis (S. singaporensis, S. zamani, and S. villivillosi) use the reticulated python as their definitive hosts and...
Article
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Ansonia hanitschi is a small, stream-breeding toad endemic to Borneo. Little is known about its ecology or behavior. We documented diurnal activity patterns and habitat use, nocturnal habitat use, and body sizes of A. hanitschi near streams and in forests on Gunung Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. We identified 12 unique diurnal...
Article
The Burmese roofed turtle (Batagur trivittata) is one of the world's most endangered turtles. Only one wild population remains in Myanmar. Based on field observations, wild breeders are thought to number around a dozen. Combined in-situ and ex-situ conservation efforts for the species have raised >700 captive turtles over a decade predominantly fro...
Article
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Background One Health (OH) is an interdisciplinary collaborative approach to human and animal health that aims to break down conventional research and policy ‘silos’. OH has been used to develop strategies for zoonotic Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID). However, the ethical case for OH as an alternative to more traditional public health approaches...
Data
A Survey Methods and Analysis. B Responses to Conceptual Question. C Response to Priorities Question. D Interview Question Guides. (DOC)
Article
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The global amphibian trade is suspected to have brought several species to the brink of extinction, and has led to the spread of amphibian pathogens. Moreover, international trade is not regulated for ~98 % of species. Here we outline patterns and complexity underlying global amphibian trade, highlighting some loopholes that need to be addressed, f...
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Most ecological processes now show responses to anthropogenic climate change. In terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, species are changing genetically, physiologically, morphologically, and phenologically and are shifting their distributions, which affects food webs and results in new interactions. Disruptions scale from the gene to the...
Book
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Predicting climate change impacts on biodiversity is a major scientific challenge, but doing so is important for assessing extinction risk, developing conservation action plans, providing guidance for laws and regulations, and identifying the mechanisms and patterns of impact to inform climate change adaptation. In the few decades since the threat...
Article
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Predator and prey relationships are dynamic and interrelated. Thus, any offensive behaviour will vary according to differing defensive behaviours, or vice versa, within each species in any predator–prey system. However, most studies are one-sided as they focus on just one behaviour, that of either the predator or prey. Here, we examine both predato...
Article
An organism’s morphology is driven by selection on function while being constrained by phylogenetic and developmental factors as well as functional trade-offs. If selection on function is strong and solutions limited, then convergence is expected. In this paper we quantify head shape in a group of ecologically diverse snakes (homalopsid snakes) dif...
Article
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Amphibians require specific habitats for breeding and loss or degradation of such habitats can negatively affect reproductive success. Oviposition site selection within a habitat is also important as site quality is linked to larval survivorship and metamorphic success. We investigated oviposition site preferences of the stream-breeding frog Limnon...
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The effects of climate change on biodiversity are increasingly well documented, and many methods have been developed to assess species' vulnerability to climatic changes, both ongoing and projected in the coming decades. To minimize global biodiversity losses, conservationists need to identify those species that are likely to be most vulnerable to...
Article
Pandemic plans recommend phases of response to an emergent infectious disease (EID) outbreak, and are primarily aimed at preventing and mitigating human-to-human transmission. These plans carry presumptive weight and are increasingly being operationalized at the national, regional and international level with the support of the World Health Organiz...
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Conservation science needs to engage the general public to ensure successful conservation interventions. Although online technologies such as Twitter and Facebook offer new opportunities to accelerate communication between conservation scientists and the online public, factors influencing the spread of conservation news in online media are not well...
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Amphibians exhibit extraordinarily diverse sets of reproductive strategies among vertebrates. Understanding life history strategies in an evolutionary framework is lacking for many amphibian species in the tropics. Here, we report a novel reproductive mode where adult frogs enter hollow internodes of bamboo via a small opening, deposit direct devel...
Article
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Hatching, the life history switch point between embryonic and larval or subadult stages, has traditionally been regarded as a fixed event in an organism's development. This notion has been challenged by reports of environmentally cued hatching in recent years, which show embryos improve fitness by hatching in response to mortality risks. Here, we p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background/Question/Methods The relationship between predator and prey is one that is constantly evolving. Dynamics of this interaction are fundamental to our understanding of behavior in both species. However, majority of studies only focus on examining behavior from the predator’s or prey’s perspective. A particular type of predator-prey intera...
Article
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AimTo apply mathematical models to the task of predicting extinction risk for species currently listed as ‘Data Deficient’ (DD) by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). We demonstrate this approach by applying it globally to amphibians, the vertebrate group recognized as being most extinction threatened and having the large...
Article
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Most animals encourage independence in their offspring at the earliest possible date. Invariably, the goal is to minimize energy output and maximize offspring survival. Parental investment tends to evolve only when offspring’s survival is jeopardized by environmental threats that attentive parenting can mitigate, such as hungry predators, scarce or...
Article
Tropical forests continue to be felled and fragmented around the world. A key question is how rapidly species disappear from forest fragments and how quickly humans must restore forest connectivity to minimize extinctions. We surveyed small mammals on forest islands in Chiew Larn Reservoir in Thailand 5 to 7 and 25 to 26 years after isolation and o...
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The arboreal frog, Chiromantis hansenae (Family: Rhacophoridae), is one of only a handful of South‐East Asian amphibian species reported with parental care. We present the first systematic observational and experimental study confirming offspring benefits as a result of this care, which has a number of unusual life‐history characteristics. Eggs are...
Article
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Amphibian trade is known to facilitate the geographic spread of pathogens. Here we assess the health of amphibians traded in Southeast Asia for food or as pets, focusing on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), ranavirus and general clinical condition. Samples were collected from 2,389 individual animals at 51 sites in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam and...
Article
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A new microhylid frog in the genus Oreophryne is described from southern New Guinea. It is a small species (males to 22 mm snout-urostyle length (SUL), females to 27 mm SUL) distinguished from congeners by having a cartilaginous connection between the procoracoid and scapula, no webs between fingers, basal webs mainly between toes 3 and 4 and betwe...
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Determining how climate change will affect global ecology and ecosystem services is one of the next important frontiers in environmental science. Many species already exhibit smaller sizes as a result of climate change and many others are likely to shrink in response to continued climate change, following fundamental ecological and metabolic rules....
Article
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Ingerana rajae, new species, is found in Bukit Baka-Bukit Raja National Park, West Kalimantan, Borneo, and is characterised by its large size, dorsum covered with tubercles, no clear distinction of the dorsolateral area, tympanum completely concealed under skin, and fi ngers and toes ornamented with widely enlarged tips with a circum-marginal groov...
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In response to the recent rediscovery of Barbourula kalimantanensis, which is currently the only known lungless frog, a number of biologically important aspects of the species were examined and its taxonomy and conservation status was reviewed. Based on the species’ ecological requirements, habitat restrictions and recent severe habitat loss, we pr...
Article
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Article
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We agree with Smith et al. that basic biological information is the cornerstone of CITES effectiveness and sustainable resource management, and that scientists should be encouraged to select CITES-listed species as research taxa. However, many of the most important and delicate issues for CITES go far beyond biology of species under threat. Biologi...
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We estimate the phylogenetic relationships among all six recognized species of the genus Staurois based on 16S rRNA sequences (̃522 bp) for 92 specimens from Borneo and the Philippines. Our preferred phylogenetic tree inferred from Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian methods reveal six major clades within the genus leading to recognition of S. natator,...
Article
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Recent behavioral experiments aimed at understanding the evolutionary foundations of human cooperation have suggested that a willingness to engage in costly punishment, even in one-shot situations, may be part of human psychology and a key element in understanding our sociality. However, because most experiments have been confined to students in in...
Article
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International wildlife trade remains a lead-ing threat to biodiversity conservation (1) and is a common vector for infectious diseases (2, 3) and invasive species (4) that also affect agriculture, livestock, and public health. With 175 member countries, the Con-vention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) is...
Article
Southeast Asia’s widespread species offer unique opportunities to explore the effects of geographical barriers to dispersal on patterns of vertebrate lineage diversification. We analyzed mitochondrial gene sequences (16S rDNA) from a geographically widespread sample of 266 Southeast Asian tree frogs, including 244 individuals of Polypedates leucomy...
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We examined common male mating calls and portions of two mitochondrial genes (16S and cytochrome b) of three wide-ranging Southeast Asian anurans to determine whether populations separated by 1,600 km are conspecifi c. For one species (Polypedates leucomystax), calls are signifi cantly different, but genetic distances are relatively low. For the ot...
Data
Phylogenetic relationships resolved in this study showing all of the terminal taxa utilized. Depicted is the MCCT and ML topology with divergence times estimated using all six calibration points and standard deviations of 5.0 for their prior distributions (as in Fig. 2). Nodes are at the inferred median heights. Closed circles indicate high Bayesia...
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The complex history of Southeast Asian islands has long been of interest to biogeographers. Dispersal and vicariance events in the Pleistocene have received the most attention, though recent studies suggest a potentially more ancient history to components of the terrestrial fauna. Among this fauna is the enigmatic archaeobatrachian frog genus Barbo...
Article
Aim Invasive species often exhibit a highly non-random suite of traits relative to non-invasive taxa, and these biases reflect strong selection at a series of steps along the invasion pathway. Here we investigate traits that are favoured in the first of these steps: the introduction of species outside their native geographic range. We use the globa...
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Amphibians and reptiles will be adversely affected by projected rapid changes in climate in the next decades. Here, we review the known and potential impacts of climate change on the Southeast Asian amphibians and reptiles and make mitigation recommendations for both research and policy. Current amphibian and reptile distributions and ecologies mir...