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Quantitative evidence for global amphibian population declines


Houlahan, J E; Findlay, C S; Schmidt, B R; Meyer, A H; Kuzmin, S L (2000). Quantitative evidence for global amphibian population declines. Nature, 404(6779):752-755.

Abstract

Although there is growing concern that amphibian populations are declining globally1±3, much of the supporting evidence is either anecdotal4,5 or derived from short-term studies at small geographical scales6±8. This raises questions not only about the dificulty of detecting temporal trends in populations which are notoriously variable9,10, but also about the validity of inferring global trends from local or regional studies11,12. Here we use data
from 936 populations to assess large-scale temporal and spatial variations in amphibian population trends. On a global scale, our
results indicate relatively rapid declines from the late 1950s/early 1960s to the late 1960s, followed by a reduced rate of decline to the present. Amphibian population trends during the 1960s were negative in western Europe (including the United Kingdom) and
North America, but only the latter populations showed declines from the 1970s to the late 1990s. These results suggest that while large-scale trends show considerable geographical and temporal variability, amphibian populations are in fact declining-and that this decline has been happening for several decades.

Although there is growing concern that amphibian populations are declining globally1±3, much of the supporting evidence is either anecdotal4,5 or derived from short-term studies at small geographical scales6±8. This raises questions not only about the dificulty of detecting temporal trends in populations which are notoriously variable9,10, but also about the validity of inferring global trends from local or regional studies11,12. Here we use data
from 936 populations to assess large-scale temporal and spatial variations in amphibian population trends. On a global scale, our
results indicate relatively rapid declines from the late 1950s/early 1960s to the late 1960s, followed by a reduced rate of decline to the present. Amphibian population trends during the 1960s were negative in western Europe (including the United Kingdom) and
North America, but only the latter populations showed declines from the 1970s to the late 1990s. These results suggest that while large-scale trends show considerable geographical and temporal variability, amphibian populations are in fact declining-and that this decline has been happening for several decades.

Citations

692 citations in Web of Science®
740 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2000
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:14
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:13
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0028-0836
Publisher DOI:10.1038/35008052
Related URLs:http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v412/n6846/full/412500a0.html
PubMed ID:10783886

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