Climate change could be a greater threat to tropical frogs than deforestation
Changes in climate and land use are expected to reduce the livable area for tropical frogs because these species will increasingly encounter temperatures hot enough to harm their behavior, reproduction and physiology. Climate change, however, may be the most destructive force, according to a recent study involving a researcher from UC Berkeley.
|Parachuting Red-Eyed Leaf Frog (Agalychnis saltator) [Credit: University of California - Berkeley]|
For the study, UC Berkeley Ph.D. student David Kurz traveled to Costa Rica and conducted frog surveys in three land-cover types: forest fragments, heart of palm plantations and pasture. After 400 surveys, Kurz and lead author Justin Nowakowski, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, identified frog species restricted to forest as well as species that were able to survive in the agricultural areas.
|Pygmy Rain Frog (Pristimantis ridens) [Credit: University of California - Berkeley]|
"Our field data and subsequent modeling show that frogs that are better able to withstand rising temperatures have a better chance of survival in a rapidly changing world," Kurz said.
The researchers found that frog species living exclusively in forests were most sensitive to the high temperatures that come from the combination of climate change and forest conversion.
Author: Brett Israel | Source: University of California - Berkeley [October 10, 2016]