Abstract

The recognition that invasive alien species (IAS) are among the greatest threats to biodiversity has stimulated a growing interest in their impacts on native amphibians. Here we describe the multifaceted consequences of biological invasions on native amphibians and identify potential mechanisms and strategies that could better enable the long-term persistence of native species. IAS can influence amphibian fitness, population size, and community structure via multiple pathways and can exert major, direct impacts through predation, competition, and hybridization. The consequences of indirect impacts, too, such as habitat alteration and the spread of emerging diseases, can be particularly severe in native populations. Native amphibians may respond to IAS by modulating aspects of their behavior, morphology, or life history. Nevertheless, it is still unclear the extent to which phenotypic plasticity and rapid evolution may help native species withstand the impacts of IAS in invaded communities. Practical management strategies focused on prevention, monitoring, and early control are the most effective approaches to allay the impacts of IAS and should be prioritized in proactive conservation plans. Eradications of IAS and mitigation approaches, should IAS become established, are feasible and can greatly improve the status of native populations.

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