Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Predicting future threats for global amphibian biodiversity

Date:
November 17, 2011
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, and their declines far exceed those of other animal groups: more than 30% of all species are listed as threatened according to experts. Multiple factors threaten global amphibian diversity but the spatial distribution of these threats and their interactions are poorly known. A new study indicates that areas of greatest amphibian species richness are the areas subject to the greatest threat.

New research shows that areas of greatest amphibian species richness are the areas subject to the greatest threat.
Credit: © Sebastian Duda / Fotolia

Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, and their declines far exceed those of other animal groups: more than 30% of all species are listed as threatened according to the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Multiple factors threaten global amphibian diversity but the spatial distribution of these threats and their interactions are poorly known. A new study published in Nature with Dr. Christian Hof as lead author indicates that, worryingly, areas of greatest amphibian species richness are the areas subject to the greatest threat.

The research was led by Professor Carsten Rahbek, the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate of the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) together with Professor Miguel B. Araϊjo, the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid (Spain) and conducted in collaboration with Associate Professor Walter Jetz (Yale University, USA).

Climate change the most serious threat

Among the most serious threats to amphibians are climate change, land-use change and the fungal disease chytridiomycosis. Christian Hof and colleagues assess the geographical distribution of these threats in relation to the global distribution of amphibians. "Regions where climate and land-use change have the highest projected impact on amphibians tend to overlap," explains the researcher, "by contrast, the threat posed by the fungal disease shows little spatial overlap with the other two threats."

The researchers also find that the most species-rich areas in the world are more likely to be exposed to one or more threats than areas with low species richness: "Our study shows that more than two thirds of the global amphibian diversity hotspots will likely be strongly affected by at least one of the three threats considered," says Miguel Araϊjo from the Spanish Research Council (CSIC).

Amphibian declines likely to accelerate

On the basis of the observed overlapping of risk factors, the authors suggest that risk assessments based on just one threat are likely to be over-optimistic. "Our assessment shows that amphibian declines are likely to accelerate over the next decades, as multiple drivers of extinction could jeopardize their populations more than previous, mono-causal, assessments have suggested," says Carsten Rahbek from the University of Copenhagen.

Walter Jetz (Yale University) concludes: "With more than 30 per cent of all amphibian species already listed as threatened by IUCN and many rare species still being discovered every year, our results highlight the need for greater conservation research and action for this highly threatened group."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Copenhagen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christian Hof, Miguel B. Araϊjo, Walter Jetz, Carsten Rahbek. Additive threats from pathogens, climate and land-use change for global amphibian diversity. Nature, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nature10650

Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "Predicting future threats for global amphibian biodiversity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111116132916.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2011, November 17). Predicting future threats for global amphibian biodiversity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111116132916.htm
University of Copenhagen. "Predicting future threats for global amphibian biodiversity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111116132916.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins