Next Article in Journal
Origin and Domestication of Native Amazonian Crops
Next Article in Special Issue
Phylogenetic Signal of Threatening Processes among Hylids: The Need for Clade-Level Conservation Planning
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Conservation Genetics of Crested Newt Species Triturus cristatus and T. carnifex within a Contact Zone in Central Europe: Impact of Interspecific Introgression and Gene Flow
Open AccessReview

Global Amphibian Declines, Loss of Genetic Diversity and Fitness: A Review

School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
Brannoxtown, Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2010, 2(1), 47-71;
Received: 4 November 2009 / Accepted: 26 December 2009 / Published: 5 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amphibian Conservation)
It is well established that a decrease in genetic variation can lead to reduced fitness and lack of adaptability to a changing environment. Amphibians are declining on a global scale, and we present a four-point argument as to why this taxonomic group seems especially prone to such genetic processes. We elaborate on the extent of recent fragmentation of amphibian gene pools and we propose the term dissociated populations to describe the residual population structure. To put their well-documented loss of genetic diversity into context, we provide an overview of 34 studies (covering 17 amphibian species) that address a link between genetic variation and >20 different fitness traits in amphibians. Although not all results are unequivocal, clear genetic-fitness-correlations (GFCs) are documented in the majority of the published investigations. In light of the threats faced by amphibians, it is of particular concern that the negative effects of various pollutants, pathogens and increased UV-B radiation are magnified in individuals with little genetic variability. Indeed, ongoing loss of genetic variation might be an important underlying factor in global amphibian declines. View Full-Text
Keywords: amphibian conservation; fitness; genetic diversity; genetic drift; inbreeding amphibian conservation; fitness; genetic diversity; genetic drift; inbreeding
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Allentoft, M.E.; O’Brien, J. Global Amphibian Declines, Loss of Genetic Diversity and Fitness: A Review. Diversity 2010, 2, 47-71.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Back to TopTop