Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (3): 22427.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022427

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The impact of anthropogenic noise, artificial light at night and road kills on amphibians

Yixin Jiang1, Yingying Shi1, Shuo Gao2, Supen Wang1,*()   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, Anhui 241000
    2 Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Nanjing 210042
  • Received:2022-07-26 Accepted:2022-11-07 Online:2023-03-20 Published:2023-01-01
  • Contact: Supen Wang


Background & Aim: Global biodiversity decline is a major ecological problem around the world today. As an important indicator for measuring the environment, amphibians have received more and more attention from researchers in recent years. In this paper, we focus on amphibians which are the most threatened species of vertebrate to analyze the existing problems and suggest the corresponding solutions.

Method: Firstly, we analyze the effects of three most prominent factors in human activities, i.e., anthropogenic noise, artificial light at night and road kills on amphibians reproduction, population growth rate, physiology, and behavior by retrieving existing literature from 2003 to 2021, and extracting and integrating key words. Secondly, the mitigation measures regarding anthropogenic noise, artificial light at night and road kills are summarized and suggestions for improvement are made.

Review Results: Amphibian calling behavior was altered by anthropogenic noise, showing variations in call rate, dominant frequency, and call duration. It is yet unclear how different amphibians calling respond to anthropogenic noise differently and whether call variations are advantageous to the amphibians’ long-term growth. By obscuring the perception of male acoustic signals by females and impacting sperm count and sperm viability in males, anthropogenic noise can also affect the reproductive behavior of amphibians. Amphibian growth rates and behavioral activity time were slowed down by artificial light at night. In addition, artificial light at night can change corticosterone levels in amphibians and hence have an impact on their physiology. Amphibian population size was directly impacted by road kills. This study makes recommendations for improvement in light of the aforementioned detrimental effects, including bolstering the road infrastructure, constructing noise barriers to muffle noise, reducing light intensity in dense amphibian areas, building amphibian corridors, etc.

Perspective: Specific conservation strategies that seek to improve protection measures, planning management and monitoring of amphibian population dynamics should be implemented in order to reduce the impact of human activities on this group of vertebrates.

Key words: amphibians, human activities, anthropogenic noise, artificial light at night, road kills