Integrating species traits with extrinsic threats: closing the gap between predicting and preventing species declines

Murray, Kris A., Rosauer, Dan, McCallum, Hamish, and Skerratt, Lee (2011) Integrating species traits with extrinsic threats: closing the gap between predicting and preventing species declines. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 278 (1711). pp. 1515-1523.

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Abstract

In studies of extinction risk, it is often insufficient to conclude that species with narrow ranges or small clutch sizes require prioritized protection. To improve conservation outcomes, we also need to know which threats interact with these traits to endanger some species but not others. In this study, we integrated the spatial patterns of key threats to Australian amphibians with species' ecological/life-history traits to both predict declining species and identify their likely threats. In addition to confirming the importance of previously identified traits (e.g. narrow range size), we find that extrinsic threats (primarily the disease chytridiomycosis and invasive mosquitofish) are equally important and interact with intrinsic traits (primarily ecological group) to create guild-specific pathways to decline in our model system. Integrating the spatial patterns of extrinsic threats in extinction risk analyses will improve our ability to detect and manage endangered species in the future, particularly where data deficiency is a problem.

Item ID: 21401
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: amphibian declines; extinction risk; threats; Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; random forests; classification tree
ISSN: 1471-2954
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2012 23:27
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920599 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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