eCite Digital Repository

Extinction debt from climate change for frogs in the wet tropics


Fordham, DA and Brook, BW and Hoskin, CJ and Pressey, RL and Van Der Wal, J and Williams, SE, Extinction debt from climate change for frogs in the wet tropics, Biology Letters, 12, (10) Article 20160236. ISSN 1744-9561 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1098/rsbl.2016.0236


The effect of twenty-first-century climate change on biodiversity is commonly forecast based on modelled shifts in species ranges, linked to habitat suitability. These projections have been coupled with species–area relationships (SAR) to infer extinction rates indirectly as a result of the loss of climatically suitable areas and associated habitat. This approach does not model population dynamics explicitly, and so accepts that extinctions might occur after substantial (but unknown) delays - an extinction debt. Here we explicitly couple bioclimatic envelope models of climate and habitat suitability with generic life-history models for 24 species of frogs found in the Australian Wet Tropics (AWT). We show that (i) as many as four species of frogs face imminent extinction by 2080, due primarily to climate change; (ii) three frogs face delayed extinctions; and (iii) this extinction debt will take at least a century to be realized in full. Furthermore, we find congruence between forecast rates of extinction using SARs, and demographic models with an extinction lag of 120 years. We conclude that SAR approaches can provide useful advice to conservation on climate change impacts, provided there is a good understanding of the time lags over which delayed extinctions are likely to occur.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:conservation prioritisation, extinction risk, metapopulation, species-area relationship, species distribution model
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in coastal and estuarine environments
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:115968
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Biological Sciences
Deposited On:2017-04-24
Last Modified:2018-03-17

Repository Staff Only: item control page