Genetic erosion and escalating extinction risk in frogs with increasing wildfire frequency
Dominique A Potvin, Kirsten M Parris, Katie L Smith Date, Claire C Keely, Rebecca D Bray, Joshua Hale, Sumitha Hunjan, Jeremy J Austin, Jane Melville
JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2017
Wildfires are increasing in both frequency and intensity in many ecosystems, with climate change models predicting further escalations in fireâprone environments. Set against this background is the global decline of amphibians, with up to 40% of species facing extinction from multiple additive threats. Despite these disturbing figures, it is currently unclear how increasing fire frequency may impact the longâterm persistence of frog populations. Following a severe wildfire in southâeastern Australia in 2009, field surveys indicated healthy tree frog populations. However, the 2009 fire had significant impacts on genetic diversity, including increased levels of inbreeding and declines in..View full abstract
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Awarded by Australian Research Council
We thank A. McCallum, R. Long and J. de Jong for field assistance, M. Littlejohn for project advice, landholders for access to property and M. McCarthy for help with population modelling. Research was funded by the Australian Research Council (LP100200158, LP0990161, LP0667815) and The National Environmental Research Program, Environmental Decisions Hub.