Sea level rise impacts on anurans
Amphibians are the most severely threatened terrestrial vertebrates and we are witnessing a global decline phenomenon, which is even suggested to be of the same level as the historical mass extinctions. Albeit the myriad of causative stressors identified in the last decades, future sea level rise (SLR) and its impact on coastal terrestrial fauna remains essentially unreported. Even if there is no consensus on the magnitude of the future SLR, several studies suggest that it is likely to be greater than previously reported by the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Therefore, it is reasonable to expect severe impacts on the coastal terrestrial fauna at a worldwide scale. Here, we assembled a worldwide data set of coastal-lowland anuran species in an attempt to quantify the potential habitat loss caused by flooding according to different SLR scenarios. We also assessed potential habitat suitability under climate change (CC) in order to evaluate its expected effects on species’ climatic niches, by building species distribution models for three future scenarios (A2a, A1b and B2a). Our results revealed that SLR has the potential to produce negative impacts on ~ 86% of the selected coastal-lowland species in different magnitudes, whereas CC is expected to produce a greater impact on the same taxa. Thus, species predicted to persist under the new climatic conditions may be exposed to effects associated with SLR. Breaking our results down to biogeographic realms, we found that Australasia harboured most amphibian species suffering the dual impacts of SLR and CC. Based on our results, we advocate for the inclusion of potential future impacts of SLR in conservation action plans, anticipating and preventing biodiversity loss.