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Quo vadis amphibia? Global warming and breeding phenology in frogs, toads and salamanders

Author:
  • Geoffrey M. While
  • Tobias Uller
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 921-929
Publication/Series: Ecography
Volume: 37
Issue: 10
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

As the earth is getting warmer, many animals and plants have shifted their timing of breeding towards earlier dates. However, there is substantial variation between populations in phenological shifts that typically goes unexplained. Identification of the different location and species characteristics that drive such variable responses to global warming is crucial if we are to make predictions for how projected climate change scenarios will play out on local and global scales. Here we conducted a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis of breeding phenology across frogs, toads and salamanders to examine the extent of variation in amphibian breeding phenology in response to global climate change. We show that there is strong geographic variation in response to global climate change, with species at higher latitudes exhibiting a more pronounced shift to earlier breeding than those at lower latitudes. Our analyses suggest that this latitude effect is a result of both the increased temperature (but not precipitation) at higher latitudes as well as a greater responsiveness by northern populations of amphibians to this change in temperature. We suggest that these effects should reinforce any direct effect of increasing warming at higher latitudes on breeding phenology. In contrast, we found very little contribution from other location factors or species traits. There was no evidence for a phylogenetic signal on advancing breeding phenology or responsiveness to temperature, suggesting that the amphibians that have been studied to date respond similarly to global warming.

Keywords

  • Biological Sciences

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1600-0587
Tobias Uller
E-mail: tobias.uller [at] biol.lu.se

Professor

Evolutionary ecology

+46 46 222 30 94

E-C256

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Research group

Experimental Evolution, Ecology & Behaviour

Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

I am currently about to move to Lund from University of Oxford. For details about DPhil students and postdocs in my previous research group based at the Edward Grey Institute, please click here

Downloads & links

CV (pdf; 241 kB)