Living amphibians comprise about 6600 species or 20% of extant tetrapods. In the last 20 years the number of recognized living amphibian species has increased by 36%; the rate of discovery of new species exceeds that of any other vertebrate group. Many undescribed species remain; for example, more than 100 undescribed frog species have been reported in Sri Lanka. Yet, the decline and extinction of amphibian populations stands as a visible signal of environmental degradation. In response both to the environmental crisis and to the unprecedented opportunities, we have organized to promote the study of amphibian phylogeny.
AmphibiaTree is a community-based research effort. The goal is to promote a comprehensive tree of all amphibians. We envision not simply a skeletal branchwork, but also a tree heavy with foliage and inflorescence, rich in hue and texture. In other words, we seek insights about evolutionary history through integrative studies from a range of data.
We offer to the community opportunities and resources for collaboration. We encourage others to our labs in order to facilitate their independent research, and to provide ideas and interaction.
The initial funding for the AmphibiaTree project is from the Assembling the Tree of Life program of the National Science Foundation (see Synopsis). However, we are actively seeking funding from other sources, and we are interested in partnering with other groups to realize these goals.
We invite those with an interest in amphibian systematics to join us.
The AmphibiaTree Steering Committee
Production of this site is funded by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.