Silva, Y. B. d. S. e, Ribeiro, B. R., Brum, F. T., Soares-Filho, B., Loyola, R., & Michalski, F. (2018). Combined exposure to hydroelectric expansion, climate change and forest loss jeopardies amphibians in the Brazilian Amazon. Diversity and Distributions, 24(8), 1072–1082.
Aim: Human-driven impacts constantly threat amphibians, even in largely protected regions such as the Amazon. The Brazilian Amazon is home to a great diversity of amphibians, several of them currently threatened with extinction. We investigated how climate change, deforestation and establishment of hydroelectric dams could affect the geographic distribution of Amazonian amphibians by 2030 and midcentury. Location: The Brazilian Amazon. Methods: We overlapped the geographic distribution of 255 species with the location of hydroelectric dams, models of deforestation and climate change scenarios for the future. Results: We found that nearly 67% of all species and 54% of species with high degree of endemism within the Legal Brazilian Amazon would lose habitats due to the hydroelectric overlapping. In addition, deforestation is also a potential threat to amphibians, but had a smaller impact compared to the likely changes in climate. The largest potential range loss would be caused by the likely increase in temperature. We found that five amphibian families would have at least half of the species with over 50% of potential distribution range within the Legal Brazilian Amazon limits threatened by climate change between 2030 and 2050. Main conclusions: Amphibians in the Amazon are highly vulnerable to climate change, which may cause, directly or indirectly, deleterious biological changes for the group. Under modelled scenarios, the Brazilian Government needs to plan for the development of the Amazon prioritizing landscape changes of low environmental impact and economic development to ensure that such changes do not cause major impacts on amphibian species while reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.