Quantifying climate sensitivity and climate driven change in North American amphibian communities

Authors: David AW Miller; Evan HC Grant; Erin Muths; Staci M Amburgey; Michael J Adams; M B Joseph; Hardin J Waddle; P TJ Johnson; Maureen E Ryan; Benedikt R Schmidt; Daniel L Calhoun; Courtney L Davis; Robert N Fisher; David E Green; Blake R Hossack; Tracy A. Rittenhouse; Susan C Walls; Larissa L Bailey; Sam S Cruickshank; Gary M Fellers; Thomas A Gorman; C A Haas; Ward Hughson; David S Pilliod; S J Price; Andrew M Ray; Walt J Sadinski; D Saenz; William J Barichivich; Adrianne B Brand; Cheryl S Brehme; Rosi G Dagit; Katy S Delaney; Brad M Glorioso; Lee B Kats; Patrick M Kleeman; Christopher A Pearl; Carlton J Rochester; Seth PD Riley; Mark F Roth; Brent H Sigafus
Contribution Number: 654



We quantified the response of amphibian communities to climatic variability across the United States and Canada using more than 500,000 observations for 81 species across 86 study areas. We estimated the relationships between annual variation in climate variables and local colonization and persistence probabilities across more than 5000 surveyed sites. This allowed us to estimate sensitivity to change in five climate variables. Climate sensitivity differs greatly among eco-regions and depends on local climate, species life-history, and phylogeny. Local species richness was especially sensitive to changes in water availability during breeding and changes in winter temperature. These results allowed us to ask whether changing climate explains strong overall rates of decline in species richness observed in our data set. We found that recent change in the climate variables we measured does not explain why North American amphibian richness is rapidly declining, but does explain why some populations decline faster than others. 

Publication details
Published Date: 2018-08
Outlet/Publisher: Nature Communications
Media Format: .PDF

ARMI Organizational Units:
Pacific Northwest - Biology
Southwest, Northern California - Biology
Southwest, Southern California - Biology
Rocky Mountains, Southern - Biology
Rocky Mountains, Northern - Biology
Northeast - Biology
South Central - Biology
Southwest, Arizona - Biology
Climate Change; Monitoring and Population Ecology; Species and their Ecology
climate; demographics; ecology; pond-breeding amphibians; recovery; research; theory; trends
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