Amphibian phylogenetic diversity in the face of future climate change: not so good news for the chilean biodiversity hotspot

Leonardo J. Rodriguez, Olga A. Barbosa, Claudio Soto-Azat, Mario Alvarado-Rybak, Claudio Correa, Marco A. Méndez, Felipe N. Moreno-Gómez, Felipe E. Rabanal, Marcela A. Vidal, Nelson A. Velásquez, Leonardo D. Bacigalupe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change is projected to be the most extensive human-induced disturbance to occur on natural ecosystems, inducing changes in different biodiversity features including the evolutionary history of a region through the decline and loss of its phylogenetic diversity. Amphibians, given their ectothermic life cycle and critical conservation status, would potentially be exposed to extinction processes under conditions of climate change, with the corresponding loss of evolutionary history in regions of high biodiversity. This research addresses the effects of climate change on the evolutionary history of amphibians in the Chilean Biodiversity Hotspot, by estimating the PD (Phylogenetic diversity) and PE (Phylogenetic endemism) of 27 species. Using different RCP (RCP 4.5 and 8.5) and time frames (years 2050 and 2070), we create species distribution models (SDM) to evaluate the species range dynamics and the phylodiversity in the Hotspot. Also, given that Protected Areas (PA) are the main global strategy to ensure the conservation of species and their features, we evaluate the capacity of PA to conserve the evolutionary history in the Hotspot. Our results show a set of modeled species that will become extinct, or will experiment changes in their distributional ranges, inducing a clear decline of amphibian evolutionary history for the next 30 to 50 years, and a worrying low capacity of the PA to contain current and future PD and PE. Given the critical amphibian scenario, our results highlight the need for further research to improve the decision-making process in the hotspot area addressing the potential amphibian extinction risk, the lack of protection by the PA system, and the loss of evolutionary history as a key aspect of biodiversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2587-2603
Number of pages17
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Issue number11
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Climate change
  • Global change
  • Species distribution models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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