New Frontiers in Amphibian Conservation
Monday, August 10, 2015: 4:30 PM-6:30 PM
Exhibit Hall, Baltimore Convention Center
William Fields, U.S. Geological Survey
Evan H. Campbell Grant, US Geological Survey
Conservation biology has traditionally been framed as a crisis discipline that is responding to the loss of biological diversity, and this has led to some progress in addressing species declines. However, a broader, and more proactive, perspective is needed to plan for a future in which novel climates, continued habitat loss, emerging diseases, invasive species, and other factors threaten species. Amphibian ecology presents an opportunity to refocus on processes affecting populations more broadly. Progress in conservation biology can be made through a better mechanistic understanding of population and community dynamics and by developing quantitative methods for monitoring species and structuring decisions. This session includes a diverse group of amphibian ecologists who will report on these areas of research in amphibian ecology. The effects of climate change, a dominant concern for biodiversity, are explored for amphibian populations through observational studies on how wetland hydrology interacts with breeding phenology to affect larval recruitment. Talks will also focus on the evolution of dispersal and the response of amphibians to landscape structure, which is critical for understanding spatial population dynamics, and how species interact in developed landscapes. Finally, this session will also include presentations about quantitative methods for combining monitoring data to improve inferences about populations and incorporating genetic data into structured decision making for rare species. All session participants have been asked to chart opportunities for future, synthetic research for conservation and management of amphibian populations in their respective topics.