Modelling the ecophysiology of frogs to guide the conservation of threatened populations

Wassens, S. (Supervisor), Jeanne Young (Supervisor), Qifeng Ye (Supervisor), Corey J.A. Bradshaw (Supervisor)

Activity: Supervision/Examination/MentoringExternal HDR Supervision

Description

Amphibian populations globally are in decline. One important threatening process is the abstraction of water resources for human use that continues to alter surface-water hydrology and reduce amphibian habitats. While conservation actions manipulating water to manage amphibians are frequently posited, empirical evidence is more difficult to locate. In this systematic review we summarised the global experience of manipulating water for amphibian conservation. We explore examples of manipulating water to conserve amphibian species and to control undesirable amphibians. Approaches vary in their frequency of implementation and in their success. Extending hydroperiod to match larval requirements shows encouraging results, as does off-season drying to control predators. Spraying water into the environment has several potential applications, but successes are limited. Despite some promising interventions, we identified few (n = 14) empirically supported examples of successful water manipulation to benefit amphibians globally. It is unclear if this stems from publication bias or if it is an artefact of language selection. Manipulating water shows great potential in amphibian conservation, particularly at small sites with a proximal water source and in regions that will aridify as climate change progresses. Regardless of the scale of the intervention or its perceived probability of success, high-quality reporting of empirical results is essential in progressing our understanding of how water manipulations can potentially benefit threatened amphibian populations.
Period01 Jan 201901 Jan 2023
ExamineeRupert Mathwin
Examination held atFlinders University
Degree of RecognitionNational