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Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate Change on Amphibian Populations

Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-2914, USA
Florida Integrated Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey,7920 NW 71st St. Gainesville, FL 32653-3071, USA
Department of Biology, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT 84720, USA
College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-2100, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2010, 2(2), 281-313;
Received: 10 November 2009 / Accepted: 20 February 2010 / Published: 25 February 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amphibian Conservation)
PDF [492 KB, uploaded 3 March 2010]


As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth, reproduction and dispersal capabilities. Moreover, climate change can alter amphibian habitats including vegetation, soil, and hydrology. Climate change can influence food availability, predator-prey relationships and competitive interactions which can alter community structure. Climate change can also alter pathogen-host dynamics and greatly influence how diseases are manifested. Changes in climate can interact with other stressors such as UV-B radiation and contaminants. The interactions among all these factors are complex and are probably driving some amphibian population declines and extinctions. View Full-Text
Keywords: amphibian population declines; climate change; range shifts; amphibian diseases amphibian population declines; climate change; range shifts; amphibian diseases

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Blaustein, A.R.; Walls, S.C.; Bancroft, B.A.; Lawler, J.J.; Searle, C.L.; Gervasi, S.S. Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate Change on Amphibian Populations. Diversity 2010, 2, 281-313.

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