Forecasting changes in amphibian biodiversity

Aiming at a moving target

James Collins, Tim Halliday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Amphibian population declines and sudden species' extinctions began to be noted at the beginning of the 1980s. Understanding the causes of the losses is hampered by our poor knowledge of the amphibian fauna in many parts of the world. Amphibian taxa are still being described at a high rate, especially in the tropics, which means that even quantifying species lost as a percentage of the current fauna can be a misleading statistic in some parts of the globe. The number of species that have gone missing is only one measure of the loss of biodiversity. Long-term studies of single-species populations are needed, but this approach has its limits. Amphibian populations often show great annual variation in population size making it difficult, if not impossible, to use short-term studies as a basis for deciding if a population is increasing or decreasing in the long term. Aggregating single studies into databases and searching for patterns of variation is a way of overcoming this limitation. Several databases on species and population time series are available or in development. These records show that declines are continuing worldwide with some species and populations, especially in the tropics and at higher elevations, at greater risk of extinction than others. Unfortunately, amphibian databases with population time series have much less information for the tropics compared to the temperate zone, and less for Africa and Asia compared with Europe and North America. Focusing limited resources using comprehensive statistical designs is a way to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring efforts. It is clear that, in the first decades of the twenty-first century, the regions of the globe with the highest diversity of amphibian species will experience the greatest rates of decrease of forests and increase in human population size, fertilizer use, agricultural production, creation of new croplands and irrigation. Many of these changes are likely negatively to affect amphibian species diversity, and their influence must be understood before concluding, at least for amphibians, that the 2010 millennium assessment goal of significantly reversing the rate of loss of Earth's biodiversity can be met.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-314
Number of pages6
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume360
Issue number1454
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2005

Fingerprint

Tropics
Biodiversity
Amphibians
amphibian
amphibians
biodiversity
Time series
Population
Fertilizers
Irrigation
tropics
Databases
Population Density
Earth (planet)
Statistics
population size
time series analysis
extinction
Monitoring
Biological Extinction

Keywords

  • Amphibia extinction
  • Databases
  • Population declines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Forecasting changes in amphibian biodiversity : Aiming at a moving target. / Collins, James; Halliday, Tim.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 360, No. 1454, 28.02.2005, p. 309-314.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f1ac620152ee4bddb0014b4d7005cc30,
title = "Forecasting changes in amphibian biodiversity: Aiming at a moving target",
abstract = "Amphibian population declines and sudden species' extinctions began to be noted at the beginning of the 1980s. Understanding the causes of the losses is hampered by our poor knowledge of the amphibian fauna in many parts of the world. Amphibian taxa are still being described at a high rate, especially in the tropics, which means that even quantifying species lost as a percentage of the current fauna can be a misleading statistic in some parts of the globe. The number of species that have gone missing is only one measure of the loss of biodiversity. Long-term studies of single-species populations are needed, but this approach has its limits. Amphibian populations often show great annual variation in population size making it difficult, if not impossible, to use short-term studies as a basis for deciding if a population is increasing or decreasing in the long term. Aggregating single studies into databases and searching for patterns of variation is a way of overcoming this limitation. Several databases on species and population time series are available or in development. These records show that declines are continuing worldwide with some species and populations, especially in the tropics and at higher elevations, at greater risk of extinction than others. Unfortunately, amphibian databases with population time series have much less information for the tropics compared to the temperate zone, and less for Africa and Asia compared with Europe and North America. Focusing limited resources using comprehensive statistical designs is a way to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring efforts. It is clear that, in the first decades of the twenty-first century, the regions of the globe with the highest diversity of amphibian species will experience the greatest rates of decrease of forests and increase in human population size, fertilizer use, agricultural production, creation of new croplands and irrigation. Many of these changes are likely negatively to affect amphibian species diversity, and their influence must be understood before concluding, at least for amphibians, that the 2010 millennium assessment goal of significantly reversing the rate of loss of Earth's biodiversity can be met.",
keywords = "Amphibia extinction, Databases, Population declines",
author = "James Collins and Tim Halliday",
year = "2005",
month = "2",
day = "28",
doi = "10.1098/rstb.2004.1588",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "360",
pages = "309--314",
journal = "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences",
issn = "0800-4622",
publisher = "Royal Society of London",
number = "1454",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Forecasting changes in amphibian biodiversity

T2 - Aiming at a moving target

AU - Collins, James

AU - Halliday, Tim

PY - 2005/2/28

Y1 - 2005/2/28

N2 - Amphibian population declines and sudden species' extinctions began to be noted at the beginning of the 1980s. Understanding the causes of the losses is hampered by our poor knowledge of the amphibian fauna in many parts of the world. Amphibian taxa are still being described at a high rate, especially in the tropics, which means that even quantifying species lost as a percentage of the current fauna can be a misleading statistic in some parts of the globe. The number of species that have gone missing is only one measure of the loss of biodiversity. Long-term studies of single-species populations are needed, but this approach has its limits. Amphibian populations often show great annual variation in population size making it difficult, if not impossible, to use short-term studies as a basis for deciding if a population is increasing or decreasing in the long term. Aggregating single studies into databases and searching for patterns of variation is a way of overcoming this limitation. Several databases on species and population time series are available or in development. These records show that declines are continuing worldwide with some species and populations, especially in the tropics and at higher elevations, at greater risk of extinction than others. Unfortunately, amphibian databases with population time series have much less information for the tropics compared to the temperate zone, and less for Africa and Asia compared with Europe and North America. Focusing limited resources using comprehensive statistical designs is a way to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring efforts. It is clear that, in the first decades of the twenty-first century, the regions of the globe with the highest diversity of amphibian species will experience the greatest rates of decrease of forests and increase in human population size, fertilizer use, agricultural production, creation of new croplands and irrigation. Many of these changes are likely negatively to affect amphibian species diversity, and their influence must be understood before concluding, at least for amphibians, that the 2010 millennium assessment goal of significantly reversing the rate of loss of Earth's biodiversity can be met.

AB - Amphibian population declines and sudden species' extinctions began to be noted at the beginning of the 1980s. Understanding the causes of the losses is hampered by our poor knowledge of the amphibian fauna in many parts of the world. Amphibian taxa are still being described at a high rate, especially in the tropics, which means that even quantifying species lost as a percentage of the current fauna can be a misleading statistic in some parts of the globe. The number of species that have gone missing is only one measure of the loss of biodiversity. Long-term studies of single-species populations are needed, but this approach has its limits. Amphibian populations often show great annual variation in population size making it difficult, if not impossible, to use short-term studies as a basis for deciding if a population is increasing or decreasing in the long term. Aggregating single studies into databases and searching for patterns of variation is a way of overcoming this limitation. Several databases on species and population time series are available or in development. These records show that declines are continuing worldwide with some species and populations, especially in the tropics and at higher elevations, at greater risk of extinction than others. Unfortunately, amphibian databases with population time series have much less information for the tropics compared to the temperate zone, and less for Africa and Asia compared with Europe and North America. Focusing limited resources using comprehensive statistical designs is a way to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring efforts. It is clear that, in the first decades of the twenty-first century, the regions of the globe with the highest diversity of amphibian species will experience the greatest rates of decrease of forests and increase in human population size, fertilizer use, agricultural production, creation of new croplands and irrigation. Many of these changes are likely negatively to affect amphibian species diversity, and their influence must be understood before concluding, at least for amphibians, that the 2010 millennium assessment goal of significantly reversing the rate of loss of Earth's biodiversity can be met.

KW - Amphibia extinction

KW - Databases

KW - Population declines

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=18344362355&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=18344362355&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rstb.2004.1588

DO - 10.1098/rstb.2004.1588

M3 - Article

VL - 360

SP - 309

EP - 314

JO - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

JF - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

SN - 0800-4622

IS - 1454

ER -