Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate Change Devastating Latin American Frogs

Date:
January 17, 2006
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
A University of Alberta scientist is part of a research team offering the first evidence that global warming is behind an infectious disease epidemic wiping out entire frog populations and forcing many species to extinction. The work is published in the journal Nature.

A University of Alberta scientist is part of an international research team proving, for the first time, that global warming is behind an infectious disease epidemic wiping out entire frog populations and forcing many species to extinction.

"There is absolutely a linkage between global warming and this disease - they go hand-in-hand," said Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, a professor in the U of A's Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and co-author of a research paper appearing in the current edition of the prestigious journal Nature.

Sanchez-Azofeifa worked with an international research team led by Dr. Alan Pounds from Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve and Tropical Science Centre. Accounting for such things as deforestation, the scientists investigated how the Monteverde harlequin frog vanished along with the golden toad 17 years ago from the mountains of Costa Rica. The researcher say about 67 per cent of the 110 species of the harlequin frog, which only existed in the American tropics, have met the same fate due to a pathogenic fungus called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

The researchers discovered that between 1975 and 2000, air temperature for the tropics increased by 0.18 degrees per decade, triple the average rate of warming for the 20th Century. The paper states this warming has reduced mist frequency at Monteverde by raising the heights of cloud formation which may promote the survival, growth and reproduction of the fungi.

After analyzing the relationship and timing between the demise of the species and the changes in surface and air temperatures, the scientists conclude "with high confidence," that large-scale warming is a key factor in the disappearance of many of the amphibian populations present in cloud forest environments.

"With this increase in temperature, the bacteria has been able to increase its niche and wipe out large populations of amphibians in the Americas," said Sanchez-Azofeifa, who analyzed satellite images to extract deforestation rates and forest cover extent data used on the modelling component of the study.

"Once a species is gone we can't do much to bring it back. What we need to do is worry about what will be happening in the future. How many species in tropical environments are going to disappear before people realize how serious climate change is? This is not an esoteric thing that is only important to the scientific community - it affects all of us. We are showing that there are real consequences to inaction."

The study comes at a time of growing concern about the future of amphibians. The Global Amphibian Assessment, published in 2004, found that nearly one-third of the world's 6,000 or so species of frogs, toads, and salamanders are threatened with extinction - a figure that is far greater than that for any other group of animals.

"When we talk about climate change, there is so much focus on industrialized countries, but people are ignoring other ecosystems that may be extremely sensitive to climate change, such as dry and cloud forest environments," said Sanchez-Azofeifa. "Its impact goes beyond what we can observe here in Canada and the north, and the situation is obviously very grave."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Climate Change Devastating Latin American Frogs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060115173209.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2006, January 17). Climate Change Devastating Latin American Frogs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060115173209.htm
University of Alberta. "Climate Change Devastating Latin American Frogs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060115173209.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) — Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins