Habitat availability for coastal lowland anurans in Brazilian Atlantic rainforest
Global warming is expected to cause several modifications to physical environments, and sea level rise is a certain outcome. However, assessment of the potential impacts caused by sea level rise on biodiversity is still emerging. Therefore, we assessed the combined impact of global warming and sea level rise on the potential distribution of 19 coastal lowland anurans in the biodiversity hotspot Atlantic Forest. We applied a correlative species distribution model (SDM) (BIOCLIM) and GIS-based spatial analyses. We evaluated the extent of changes of potential distributions under extreme and moderate global warming scenarios as well as two extreme sea level rise scenarios. Our results suggest wide areas of suitable habitat for most species in the future. However, for 15% of these species the SDMs predict massive losses of range extent as a result of a combination of global warming and sea level rise. Such observations highlight an immediate need to consider the potential effects of sea level rise in conservation action plans. Since the current potential distribution of these anuran species is likely underestimated, we also analyzed their environmental niche under current conditions in order to provide a baseline for further field surveys. Considering this current state of knowledge for such species, species distribution modeling to help gather further information on unknown species is desirable.