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CAS members review the effects of climate change on amphibians

TAMPA, Fla. -- With amphibians in a state of decline, many have suspected climate change has played a direct role. However, in a paper published in the journal Integrative Zoology, University of South Florida researchers argued that such studies are generally sparse and limited in research.

Faculty and students from the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Integrative Biology worked on this study, including Jason Rohr, Ph.D., and Jeremy Cohen, Ph.D. student. Yiming Li of the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China also contributed.

They wrote a review and synthesized the literature on the topic of responses of amphibians to climate change. The article emphasized acutely lethal, sub-lethal, indirect and positive effects of climate change on amphibians, and major research gaps on the subject.

Such gaps include the limited information that exists on amphibian thermal tolerances, thermal preferences, dehydration breaths, opportunity costs of water conserving behaviors and actual temperature and moisture ranges amphibians experience.

In the authors’ review, the evidence for a direct effect that climate change is contributing to the decline of the amphibian population is weakly supported. To fix this, the authors suggest that research on amphibians and their relation to climate change should shift from correlational approach to a more parameter estimation approaches as studies that evaluate alternative hypotheses for declines.

If you would like to read the article, it can be located in the journal Integrative Zoology.


Filed under:Integrative Biology     
Author: James Hollingsworth