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Article
The Complexity of Amphibian Population Declines: Understanding the Role of Cofactors in Driving Amphibian Losses
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (2011)
  • Andrew R. Blaustein, Oregon State University
  • Barbara A. Han, University of Georgia
  • Rick A. Relyea, University of Pittsburgh - Main Campus
  • Pieter T. J. Johnson, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Julia C. Buck, Oregon State University
  • Stephanie S. Gervasi, Oregon State University
  • Lee B. Kats, Pepperdine University
Abstract
Population losses and extinctions of species are occurring at unprecedented rates, as exemplified by declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. However, studies of amphibian population declines generally do not address the complexity of the phenomenon or its implications for ecological communities, focusing instead on single factors affecting particular amphibian species. We argue that the causes for amphibian population declines are complex; may differ among species, populations, and life stages within a population; and are context dependent with multiple stressors interacting to drive declines. Because amphibians are key components of communities, we emphasize the importance of investigating amphibian declines at the community level. Selection pressures over evolutionary time have molded amphibian life history characteristics, such that they may remain static even in the face of strong, recent human-induced selection pressures.
Keywords
  • Amphibian population declines,
  • Batrachochytrium; biodiversity,
  • pathogens,
  • parasites,
  • invasive species,
  • evolutionary trap
Publication Date
March, 2011
Citation Information
Andrew R. Blaustein, Barbara A. Han, Rick A. Relyea, Pieter T. J. Johnson, et al.. "The Complexity of Amphibian Population Declines: Understanding the Role of Cofactors in Driving Amphibian Losses" Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Vol. 1223 (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lee_kats/4/