Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Traffic harms Asturian amphibians

Date:
April 12, 2012
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Midwife toads and palmate newts are run over and their habitats are fragmented by roads in the Trubia valley (Asturias). According to a Spanish study, alleviating traffic is not enough to minimize the impact on midwife toad populations. The roads are the main cause of fragmenting the habitats of many species, especially amphibians. The toads get run over and the species loses genetic diversity as a result.

A midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans).
Credit: Image by Laurent Lebois

Midwife toads and palmate newts are run over and their habitats are fragmented by roads in the Trubia valley (Asturias). According to a Spanish study, alleviating traffic is not enough to minimise the impact on midwife toad populations.

The roads are the main cause of fragmenting the habitats of many species, especially amphibians, as they cause them to be run over and a loss of genetic diversity. Furthermore, traffic harms two abundant species that represent the amphibious Asturian fauna and have been declared vulnerable in Spain: the midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans) and the palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus).

"But midwife toad and palmate newt populations have very different sensitivities to the effects of roads" Claudia García-González, researcher at the University of Oviedo, said. "These amphibians have very different dispersal capabilities."

From various DNA tests, Eva García Vazquez's team have analysed the correlation between the number of roads that the amphibians have to cross to travel from one colony to another and the intensity of the genetic barriers between them. This way she has determined how the traffic affected them.

The results, published in Landscape and Urban Planning, show that in the Trubia valley (Oviedo) midwife toad populations are most affected by motor traffic and are much more broken up and isolated than the newts.

In the last decade amphibians have experienced a decline all over the planet, which is why "they are currently highly vulnerable species and many of them are subject to special protection," García-González explains.

Plant corridors to protect the toads

Amongst measures for reducing the impact of roads on animals, traffic alleviation is highlighted. The researcher points out that "decongestion measures in rural areas efficiently minimise the impact on newts, but not on midwife toads."

According to the study, even small roads with little traffic act as barriers for midwife toads, and therefore this measure is not enough to protect this species.

"A reduction in the number and speed of vehicles should be added to other actions, such as building plant corridors or passages to help connect humid areas with water habitats" García-González suggests.

In order to minimise the effect of roads on biodiversity "it does not seem appropriate to only consider one strategy to protect amphibians. We must consider the individual needs of each species and take into account that there are many factors that impact on them" the biologist warns.

Furthermore, "many animals, apart from amphibians, could benefit from building paths on existing bridges or new pathways for crossing rivers" the expert concludes.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Claudia Garcia-Gonzalez, Daniel Campo, Ivan G. Pola, Eva Garcia-Vazquez. Rural road networks as barriers to gene flow for amphibians: Species-dependent mitigation by traffic calming. Landscape and Urban Planning, 2012; 104 (2): 171 DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2011.10.012

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Traffic harms Asturian amphibians." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120412105424.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2012, April 12). Traffic harms Asturian amphibians. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120412105424.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Traffic harms Asturian amphibians." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120412105424.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) — The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) — Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 Video provided by AFP
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