Fire effects on anurans: what we know so far?
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Amanda Gomes dos Anjos; Mirco Solé; Maíra Benchimol
Publication Year: 2021

Cataloging Information

  • amphibians
  • frogs
  • literature review
  • species abundance
  • species richness
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 5, 2021
FRAMES Record Number: 63768


Fire is a powerful environmental disturbance with the ability to shape many biomes worldwide. However, global warming, land-use changes and other anthropogenic factors have strongly altered natural fire regimes worldwide. Despite the growing number of studies evaluating the effects of fire on biodiversity, little is understood about how burn affects certain groups that are particularly sensitive to climatic extremes, such as anurans. Here, we conducted a global and systematic literature review of studies assessing anurofauna responses to fire disturbances. We used Generalized Linear Mixed-Effects Models and theoretical information criteria to assess how fire affects anuran assemblages. We analyzed 68 studies, widely distributed in the globe, which examined the fire effects on abundance, richness and/or species behavior. In total, 191 species were considered, being Gastrophryne carolinensis and Lithobates catesbeianus the most evaluated. We reveal a lack of general anurofauna response to fire, as species and assemblages were either negatively or positively affected by burns. We observed that the fire treatments (Prescribed fire, Wildfire and without fire) and the biome where the study was conducted did not explain the variation in species abundance. Most studies were conducted in biomes classified as Temperate Forests, followed by Tropical Savannas and Tropical Forests. We highlight that future studies should consider factors associated to fire (e.g. fire treatment, fire properties), research design and species biology to explain patterns of species persistence and community structure. Although fire plays a key role in shaping several natural ecosystems, we have recently witnessed drastic changes in natural burning regimes all over the world, which imply leading to severe population reductions and even species extinctions. Given this scenario, government authorities should urgently support and invest in scientific studies that evaluate, monitor and test fire management practices in natural ecosystems and therefore establish mitigation actions to preserve the biota constantly threatened by the imbalance of this environmental disturbance.

Online Link(s):
dos Anjos, Amanda Gomes; Solé, Mirco; Benchimol, Maíra. 2021. Fire effects on anurans: what we know so far? Forest Ecology and Management 495:119338.