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Decline of an endangered amphibian during an extreme climatic event

Scheele, B. C., Driscoll, D. A., Fischer, J. and Hunter, D. A. 2012, Decline of an endangered amphibian during an extreme climatic event, Ecosphere, vol. 3, no. 11, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.1890/ES12-00108.1.

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Title Decline of an endangered amphibian during an extreme climatic event
Author(s) Scheele, B. C.
Driscoll, D. A.ORCID iD for Driscoll, D. A. orcid.org/0000-0002-1560-5235
Fischer, J.
Hunter, D. A.
Journal name Ecosphere
Volume number 3
Issue number 11
Article ID 101
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Place of publication Washington, D.C.
Publication date 2012-11
ISSN 2150-8925
Keyword(s) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
chytridiomycosis
climate change
climate extreme
drought
frog
landscape drying
Pseudophryne pengilleyi
southern Australia
Summary Climate change is a poorly understood, emerging threat to many amphibian species. One of the ways climate change is likely to affect amphibians is through increased recruitment failure associated with more frequent climatic extremes. To understand the risk posed by this threat, we combined 13 years of annual monitoring and multi-scaled habitat modelling at the site (n = 60), pool (n = 105) and nest (n = 170) levels to investigate the decline of the endangered northern corroboree frog (Pseudophryne pengilleyi), during the most severe drought on record in southern Australia. We documented the local extinction of 42% of P. pengilleyi breeding sites during the climatic extreme. Using logistic regression we investigated habitat variables associated with extinction sites. We found that locally extinct sites now resemble historically absent sites, with fewer pools, less water, and drying-related tree invasion. Extended periods of limited water availability at extinction sites is likely to have restricted breeding, contributing to localised extinctions. Habitat variables recorded at the pool and nest level did not significantly influence P. pengilleyi presence/absence, indicating that site level wetness had an overriding effect. We anticipate that increasing climate variability is likely to disproportionately threaten seasonal pool-breeding amphibian species, exacerbating the global amphibian biodiversity crisis. However, our work with P. pengilleyi suggests there are a range of simple habitat manipulations that could help to ameliorate the impacts.
Language eng
DOI 10.1890/ES12-00108.1
Field of Research 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
0501 Ecological Applications
0602 Ecology
0608 Zoology
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2012, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30102976

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.