Climate Change

Freshwater wetlands provide critical habitat for a diverse array of organisms including many amphibians. Yet, under the continued impacts of water diversions and the newer threats of climate change, these habitats are among the most imperiled ecosystems on Earth. Climate change has the potential to alter many sources of water critical to the habitats amphibians need, especially those associated with breeding and development. Potential changes include: change in timing and availability of water from glacier melt, snow and rain timing and amount; persistence of vernal pools and seasonal wetlands; altered evapotranspiration rates; and reduced stream flows and groundwater recharge rates.

Other ecosystem components likely to change in response to climate change include the timing and frequency of fires, the spread of invasive plants and animals, and microclimates in which the animals live.

Robert Fisher and Stacey Hathaway (ARMI) ground-truthing potential desert-frog breeding sites selected using remote sensing of soil characteristics derived from known breeding site. Photo by: C. Schwalbe.

Climate Change - ARMI Papers & Reports

Data Release Data release - Abiotic and biotic factors reduce viability of a high-elevation salamander in its native range
Authors: Evan HC Grant; Graziella V DiRenzo; Adrianne B Brand
Date: 2023-04-11 | Outlet: ScienceBase
Includes data used to estimate population demographic parameters for an exemplary high-elevation amphibian species, the federally endangered Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah). These parameters were entered into a Markov projection model which we used to forecast the future population status of the Shenandoah salamander.
Papers & Reports Sierra Nevada amphibians demonstrate stable occupancy despite precipitation volatility in the early 21st Century
Authors: Brian J Halstead; Patrick M Kleeman; Jonathan P Rose; Gary M Fellers
Date: 2023-02-07 | Outlet: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Climate can have a strong influence on species distributions, and amphibians with different life histories might be affected by annual variability in precipitation in different ways. The Sierra Nevada of California, United States, experienced some of the driest and wettest years on record in the early 21st Century, with variability in annual precipitation predicted to increase with climate change. We  examined the relationship between adult occupancy dynamics of three high elevation anurans and site and annual variation in measures of winter severity, summer wetness, and cumulative drought. We further evaluated how these weather conditions affected the probability that each species would reproduce, conditional on their occurrence at a site. We found that although different aspects of weather affected the occupancy dynamics of each species differently, adult occupancy probabilities were generally stable throughout our 15-year study period. The probability of reproduction, although slightly more variable than adult occupancy, was similarly stable throughout the study. Although occurrence of the three species was resilient to recent extremes in precipitation, more detailed demographic study would inform the extent to which amphibian populations will remain resilient to increasing severity, duration, and frequency of drought and flood cycles.
Data Release Calculations of BioLake climate data
Authors: Ryan C Burner; Richard E Erickson
Date: 2022-11-01 | Outlet: USGS GitLab
Climate data allow people to examine species distributions and possible distributions. This script takes ERA5-Land climate estimates ( for precipitation and lake temperature and processes them to create summary climate layers for use with biological organisms in lakes. This code could be modified to use a different subset of years.

These BioLake raster data provide global estimates (~10.0 x 12.4 km resolution) of twelve bioclimatic variables based on estimated lake temperature. Eleven of these twelve variables (BioLake01 - BioLake11) are estimated for each of three lake strata: lake mix (surface) layer, lake bottom, and total lake water column. These eleven variables correspond to CHELSA (Climatologies at high resolution for the earth's land surface areas) bioclimatic variables BIO1 - BIO11, except that these BioLake variables are based on lake water temperature and CHELSA BIO1 - BIO11 variables are based on air temperature. CHELSA BIO is also calculated a finer spatial resolution (~1 x 1 km). The twelfth variable (BioLake20; months with non-zero ice cover) does not correspond to any CHELSA bioclimatic variable. The data are supplied as a multi-layer raster (.grd) file in the World Mollweide projection, accompanied by a header file (.gri) with layer names.

For BioLake layer download, see
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