By Michael J Lannoo
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Additional info for Amphibian declines : a United States' response to the global phenomenon
Green, 1997b and Lannoo, 1998b, and the studies therein). , 1997). , 1991; Wissinger and Whiteman, 1992). We suggest that it is now P H I L O S O P H Y, VA L U E J U D G M E N T S , A N D D E C L I N E 13 possible to review the body of knowledge regarding individual populations and communities of amphibians to look for interspecific patterns associated with various life history traits. For example, if after reviewing the existing literature one could suggest that amphibians that lay terrestrial eggs appear to be immune to statistically unusual population fluctuations, one could then test this hypothesis experimentally.
Species that produce either large or small eggs have declined. Long-lived and shortlived species have declined. Many terrestrially breeding species have declined, but so have many species that deposit eggs in water and have aquatic larvae. The duration of the larval period does not seem to be a distinguishing factor. The length of the breeding season and breeding site specificity, though possibly correlated with declining species in specific assemblages, are not distinguishing correlates on a large scale.
In contrast, most of the species that lay their eggs in ponds and have aquatic tadpoles were still common during the census periods. A similar pattern emerges from an assemblage of frogs that breed in mountain streams around Santa Teresa in southeastern Brazil (Weygoldt, 1989). Of 13 species, eight have declined or disappeared. Weygoldt speculated that a likely cause for the declines was extremely dry winter weather. Of the eight species that were strongly affected, four were thought to be particularly susceptible to drought because of long developmental periods of aquatic larvae.
Amphibian declines : a United States' response to the global phenomenon by Michael J Lannoo