Rainforest frogs of the Australian Wet Tropics: guild classification and the ecological similarity of declining species

Williams, Stephen E., and Hero, Jean-Marc (1998) Rainforest frogs of the Australian Wet Tropics: guild classification and the ecological similarity of declining species. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 265 (1396). pp. 597-602.

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Abstract

Rainforest frogs are classifed into nine ecological guilds based on features of reproduction, habitat use, temporal activity, microhabitat and body size. The largest ecological differences are between the microhylid frogs and the rest of the frog species. Within the non-microhylids, there are two primary groups consisting of (i) regionally endemic rainforest specialists, and (ii) a more ecologically diverse group of species that are less specialized in their habitat requirements. Most of the regionally endemic rainforest specialists, which includes species in three ecological guilds, have declined or gone missing in recent years. Multivariate analyses of the ecological characteristics of these species show that it is not a single characteristic that isolates those species that have declined from those which have not. The guilds that have undergone significant population declines in the Wet Tropics are all characterized by the combination of low fecundity, a high degree of habitat specialization and repro- duction in flowing streams. These results have important implications for the determination of the causal factors in the unexplained global decline of many amphibian species.

Item ID: 1663
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: frogs, biodiversity, functional groups, extinction, declines, rainforest
ISSN: 1471-2954
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2007
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 0%
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