Environmental Management

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 46–61 | Cite as

Searching for Networks: Ecological Connectivity for Amphibians Under Climate Change

  • Felipe S. CamposEmail author
  • Ricardo Lourenço-de-Moraes
  • Danilo S. Ruas
  • Caio V. Mira-Mendes
  • Marc Franch
  • Gustavo A. Llorente
  • Mirco Solé
  • Pedro Cabral


Ecological connectivity depends on key elements within the landscape, which can support ecological fluxes, species richness and long-term viability of a biological community. Landscape planning requires clear aims and quantitative approaches to identify which key elements can reinforce the spatial coherence of protected areas design. We aim to explore the probability of the ecological connectivity of forest remnants and amphibian species distributions for current and future climate scenarios across the Central Corridor of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Integrating amphibian conservation, climate change and ecological corridors, we design a landscape ranking based on graph and circuit theories. To identify the sensitivity of connected areas to climate-dependent changes, we use the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate by means of simulations for 2080–2100, representing a moderated emission scenario within an optimistic context. Our findings indicate that more than 70% of forest connectivity loss by climate change may drastically reduce amphibian dispersal in this region. We show that high amphibian turnover rates tend to be greater in the north-eastern edges of the corridor across ensembles of forecasts. Our spatial analysis reveals a general pattern of low-conductance areas in landscape surface, yet with some well-connected patches suggesting potential ecological corridors. Atlantic Forest reserves are expected to be less effective in a near future. For improved conservation outcomes, we recommend some landscape paths with low resistance values across space and time. We highlight the importance of maintaining forest remnants in the southern Bahia region by drafting a blueprint for functional biodiversity corridors.


Anura Atlantic Forest Functional corridor Climate models Dispersal ability 



This work was supported by the CAPES Foundation, Ministry of Education of Brazil (99999.001180/2013-04; Finance Code 001). We thank J. David and M. Rodrigues for useful comments on the paper. We also thank the Centre for Computational Biology and Biotechnology Information Management (NBCGIB/UESC) and N. Sillero from CICGE for making the use of supercomputers available. RLM thanks funding from CNPq (140710/2013‐2; 152303/2016‐2; 430195/2018‐4).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

267_2019_1240_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary Table S1
267_2019_1240_MOESM2_ESM.docx (34 kb)
Supplementary Table S2


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals, Facultat de BiologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS)Universidade Nova de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  3. 3.Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia e Monitoramento Ambiental (PPGEMA)Universidade Federal da ParaíbaRio TintoBrazil
  4. 4.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Conservação da BiodiversidadeUniversidade Estadual de Santa CruzIlhéusBrazil
  5. 5.CICGE – Centro de Investigação em Ciências Geo-Espaciais, Observatório Astronómico Prof. Manuel de BarrosUniversidade do PortoVila Nova de GaiaPortugal
  6. 6.Departamento de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Estadual de Santa CruzIlhéusBrazil

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