Chapter

Lessons from Europe

K. Henle

in Amphibian Declines

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520235922
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929432 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520235922.003.0012
Lessons from Europe

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Amphibians and reptiles are coming to be regarded in Europe as indicator groups for a general decline in species diversity. The decline of these groups has been well documented in Europe and on other continents as a result of numerous population surveys. A scientifically based analysis of causal relations is essential to effective conservation efforts since it leads to the prediction of appropriate countermeasures. The most important type of database for the documentation of the declines of amphibians and reptiles and their potential causes results from regular surveys of a specific geographic area. This chapter describes the available methods of causal analysis, as well as their limitations, by applying the methods in the analysis of a long-term surveying project for amphibian population declines. It also presents remarks on the optimization of surveying projects that will facilitate subsequent causal analyses. In addition, it discusses the advantages and disadvantages of three experimental approaches for evaluating causal relations in ecology: laboratory experiments, field experiments, and unplanned or natural experiments.

Keywords: Europe; amphibians; reptiles; conservation; population declines; causal relations; laboratory experiments; field experiments; natural experiments; population surveys

Chapter.  10688 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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