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Publication of our meta-analysis

27 February 2019

What do invasive species do to amphibians?

Today our amazing global meta-analysis on the impacts of alien species on amphibians was published. This MeaseyLab project was the brainchild of Ana Nunes. Way back in July 2015, Ana spotted that while there had been some great reviews of impacts of invasive species on amphibians, so far there hadn't been a meta-analysis. She introduced the idea to the lab, and then kept us busy for many months reading and scoring papers on impacts. It has now paid off with our paper being published today in Proceedings of the Royal Scociety B. It's been a long haul, but it was certainly worth it.

So what did we find?

What we found was quite surprising. While most people focus on the negative impacts of fish being most deleterious to amphibians, we found that the biggest effect was in fact from invertebrates. Moreover, most of the studies of invertebrates on amphibians featured the impacts of crayfish on tadpoles. Ana did her PhD in exactly this area, and so we got some great insight into exactly what the mechanisms involved were.

Other important findings involved the holes in our knowledge of impacts of alien species on amphibians. Very few studies have been conducted on adults, especially the impacts of invasive plants. These insights really help when planning future work.

Ana left us in June 2017, and now works for the IUCN in Cambridge. But if you want a really good look at the lab group that took part in this work, look no further than the infamous MeaseyLab Mannequin Challenge

Nunes, A.L., Fill, J.M., Davies, S.J., Louw, M., Rebelo, A.D., Thorp, C.J., Vimercati, G. & Measey, J. (2019) A global meta-analysis of the ecological impacts of alien species on native amphibians. Proceedings of the Royal Society B  20182528.

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