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      Fluctuations in population abundance in two anurans from Central Serbia

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      Herpetozoa

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          We monitored the population size of the agile frog (Rana dalmatina) and the common toad (Bufo bufo) from 2011 or 2012, respectively, to the year 2017 at a syntopic breeding site in the vicinity of Belgrade. Adult R. dalmatina population size had minor fluctuations during the years of study (from 351 to 108 frogs). On the contrary, the adult B. bufo population was widely fluctuating towards decline (from 1158 to 141 toads). In both species, population fluctuations were not significantly related to variation of meteorological parameters (air temperature, humidity, precipitation). Density dependence effects on population size were not detected in either species. Apart from possible effects of climate change, the indicated trend towards decline of the monitored B. bufo population could also be the outcome of common population fluctuations or of increasing anthropogenic impact (vicinity of settlement and agricultural land). More years of monitoring more than one population are required to obtain precise information. Nevertheless, our results seem to be coherent with other studies that recommend conservation action for this species.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Quantitative evidence for global amphibian population declines.

          Although there is growing concern that amphibian populations are declining globally, much of the supporting evidence is either anecdotal or derived from short-term studies at small geographical scales. This raises questions not only about the difficulty of detecting temporal trends in populations which are notoriously variable, but also about the validity of inferring global trends from local or regional studies. Here we use data from 936 populations to assess large-scale temporal and spatial variations in amphibian population trends. On a global scale, our results indicate relatively rapid declines from the late 1950s/early 1960s to the late 1960s, followed by a reduced rate of decline to the present. Amphibian population trends during the 1960s were negative in western Europe (including the United Kingdom) and North America, but only the latter populations showed declines from the 1970s to the late 1990s. These results suggest that while large-scale trends show considerable geographical and temporal variability, amphibian populations are in fact declining--and that this decline has been happening for several decades.
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            Linking global warming to amphibian declines through its effects on female body condition and survivorship.

            There is general consensus that climate change has contributed to the observed decline, and extinction, of many amphibian species throughout the world. However, the mechanisms of its effects remain unclear. A laboratory study in 1980-1981 in which temperate zone amphibians that were prevented from hibernating had decreased growth rates, matured at a smaller size and had increased mortality compared with those that hibernated suggested one possible mechanism. I used data from a field study of common toads (Bufo bufo) in the UK, between 1983 and 2005, to determine whether this also occurs in the field. The results demonstrated two pathways by which global warming may cause amphibian declines. First, there was a clear relationship between a decline in the body condition of female common toads and the occurrence of warmer than average years since 1983. This was paralleled by a decline in their annual survival rates with the relationship between these two declines being highly correlated. Second, there was a significant relationship between the occurrence of mild winters and a reduction in female body size, resulting in fewer eggs being laid annually. Climate warming can, therefore, act on wild temperate zone amphibians by deleteriously affecting their physiology, during and after hibernation, causing increased female mortality rates and decreased fecundity in survivors.
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              Updated distribution and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles of Europe

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Herpetozoa
                Herpetozoa
                Pensoft Publishers
                1013-4425
                May 13 2019
                May 13 2019
                : 32
                : 65-71
                Article
                10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35660
                © 2019

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