From: University of Michigan
Published April 7, 2017 09:55 AM

Tropical lowland frogs at greater risk from climate warming than high-elevation species, study shows

A new study of Peruvian frogs living at a wide variety of elevations—from the Amazon floodplain to high Andes peaks—lends support to the idea that lowland amphibians are at higher risk from future climate warming.

That's because the lowland creatures already live near the maximum temperatures they can tolerate, while high-elevation amphibians might be more buffered from increased temperatures, according to a study by University of Michigan ecologist Rudolf von May and his colleagues published online April 6 in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

Previous studies have suggested that lowland reptiles and amphibians are especially vulnerable to climate warming. But in most cases, those conclusions were based on computer modeling work that incorporated a limited amount of field data.

"Understanding how species respond to climatic variation is critical for conserving species in future climatic conditions. Yet for most groups of organisms distributed in tropical areas, data about species' critical thermal limits are limited," said von May, a postdoctoral researcher in the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Read more at University of Michigan

Image: Bryophryne hanssaueri is one of the 22 species included in the Peruvian frog study. Individuals of this species have a bright orange throat and belly. Adults typically range in size from 0.47 to 1.13 inches (1.20 - 2.87 centimeters) in length. These frogs live under mosses and leaf litter in the high-elevation cloud forest between 10,480 and 11,250 feet, just below the treeline. Like other Bryophryne species, females attend clutches of direct-developing embryos until they hatch into tiny froglets. (Credit: Alessandro Catenazzi)

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