Ecology extinction Peer review

Is the planet really running out of frogs?

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That seems to depend on who you read:

Last year in the journal Science, a research review concluded that the chytrid fungus caused the decline of at least 501 amphibian species, of which 90 have gone extinct. That paper suggested that species losses due to the chytrid fungus are “orders of magnitude greater than for other high-profile wildlife pathogens.” But a recent reanalysis led by University of California, Berkeley, researchers found that the paper’s main conclusions lack evidence and are unreproducible.

In a Comment published online March 19th in Science, the group conducting the reanalysis — including lead authors Max Lambert and Molly Womack, who are postdocs in the lab of professor Erica Rosenblum in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM) at UC Berkeley — identified a number of data deficiencies and methodological issues in the Scheele study. Working through the methods and datasets, they faced challenges in reproducing conclusions while identifying numerous instances of missing data. In some cases, data gaps failed to link the fungus to species declines — even for many species which were previously reported with high certainty that the fungus was the cause.

University of California – Berkeley, “Reanalysis of global amphibian crisis study finds important flaws” at ScienceDaily

Here’s the open-access Comment paper: “Chytridiomycosis has irrefutably harmed amphibians. Existing evidence already warrants actions to mitigate chytridiomycosis. However, methodological and transparency issues leave Scheele et al.’s conclusions largely unsubstantiated.”

Yes, the Greta Thunberg syndrome again. Genuine concern excuses any amount of error and confusion.

One Reply to “Is the planet really running out of frogs?

  1. 1
    Truthfreedom says:

    … “researchers found that the paper’s main conclusions lack evidence and are unreproducible.”

    Not surprised at all. 🙂

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