Identifying monitoring gaps for amphibian populations in a North American biodiversity hotspot, the southeastern USA

Biodiversity and Conservation



I review the primary literature to ascertain the status of amphibian monitoring efforts in the southeastern USA, a “hotspot” for biodiversity in North America. This effort revealed taxonomic, geographic and ecological disparities in studies of amphibian populations in this region. Of the species of anurans and caudates known to occur in the Southeast, 73.8 and 33.3 %, respectively, have been monitored continuously for at least 4 years. Anurans are generally shorter-lived than are caudates and, thus, have been studied for the equivalent of at least one population turnover more than have caudates. The percentage of species (of those occurring in a given state) monitored continuously for at least 4 years was lowest for Alabama and Mississippi and highest for Florida for both taxa. The vast majority of studies (69.6 %) were conducted on species that inhabit natural freshwater wetlands, in contrast to other aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Species considered threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature comprised only 7.7 % of 65 species that have been studied consistently. The majority of comparative studies of contemporary versus historical occurrences were potentially biased by the use of “presence-only” historical data and resurveys of short duration. Other issues, such as inadequate temporal and spatial scale and neglect of different sources of error, were common. Awareness of these data gaps and sampling and statistical issues may help facilitate informed decisions in setting future monitoring priorities, particularly with respect to species, habitats and locations that have been largely overlooked in past and ongoing studies.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Identifying monitoring gaps for amphibian populations in a North American biodiversity hotspot, the southeastern USA
Series title Biodiversity and Conservation
DOI 10.1007/s10531-014-0782-7
Volume 23
Issue 13
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description 17 p.
First page 3341
Last page 3357
Country United States
State Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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