Additive threats from pathogens, climate and land-use change for global amphibian diversity

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Christian Hof, Miguel Bastos Araujo, Walter Jetz, Carsten Rahbek

Amphibian population declines far exceed those of other vertebrate groups, with 30% of all species listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The causes of these declines are a matter of continued research, but probably include climate change, land-use change and spread of the pathogenic fungal disease chytridiomycosis. Here we assess the spatial distribution and interactions of these primary threats in relation to the global distribution of amphibian species. We show that the greatest proportions of species negatively affected by climate change are projected to be found in Africa, parts of northern South America and the Andes. Regions with the highest projected impact of land-use and climate change coincide, but there is little spatial overlap with regions highly threatened by the fungal disease. Overall, the areas harbouring the richest amphibian faunas are disproportionately more affected by one or multiple threat factors than areas with low richness. Amphibian declines are likely to accelerate in the twenty-first century, because multiple drivers of extinction could jeopardize their populations more than previous, mono-causal, assessments have suggested.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature
Volume480
Issue number7378
Pages (from-to)516-519
Number of pages4
ISSN0028-0836
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Research areas

  • Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Chytridiomycota, Climate Change, Models, Biological, Mycoses, Population Dynamics

ID: 40335063