Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate change may have little impact on tropical lizards: Study contradicts predictions of widespread extinction

Date:
May 17, 2013
Source:
Dartmouth College
Summary:
Climate change may have little impact on many species of tropical lizards, contradicting a host of recent studies that predict their widespread extinction in a rapidly warming planet.

A new Dartmouth College study finds human-caused climate change may have little impact on many species of tropical lizards, contradicting a host of recent studies that predict their widespread extinction in a rapidly warming planet.

The findings appear in the journal Global Change Biology.

Most predictions that tropical cold-blooded animals, especially forest lizards, will be hard hit by climate change are based on global-scale measurements of environmental temperatures, which miss much of the fine-scale variation in temperature that individual animals experience on the ground, said the article's lead author, Michael Logan, a Ph.D. student in ecology and evolutionary biology.

To address this disconnect, the Dartmouth researchers measured environmental temperatures at extremely high resolution and used those measurements to project the effects of climate change on the running abilities of four populations of lizard from the Bay Islands of Honduras. Field tests on the captured lizards, which were released unharmed, were conducted between 2008 and 2012.

Previous studies have suggested that open-habitat tropical lizard species are likely to invade forest habitat and drive forest species to extinction, but the Dartmouth research suggests that the open-habitat populations will not invade forest habitat and may actually benefit from predicted warming for many decades. Conversely, one of the forest species studied should experience reduced activity time as a result of warming, while two others are unlikely to experience a significant decline in performance.

The overall results suggest that global-scale predictions generated using low-resolution temperature data may overestimate the vulnerability of many tropical lizards to climate change.

"Whereas studies conducted to date have made uniformly bleak predictions for the survival of tropical forest lizards around the globe, our data show that four similar species, occurring in the same geographic region, differ markedly in their vulnerabilities to climate warming," the authors wrote. "Moreover, none appear to be on the brink of extinction. Considering that these populations occur over extremely small geographic ranges, it is possible that many tropical forest lizards, which range over much wider areas, may have even greater opportunity to escape warming."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael L. Logan, Ryan K. Huynh, Rachel A. Precious, Ryan G. Calsbeek. The impact of climate change measured at relevant spatial scales: new hope for tropical lizards. Global Change Biology, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12253

Cite This Page:

Dartmouth College. "Climate change may have little impact on tropical lizards: Study contradicts predictions of widespread extinction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130517085821.htm>.
Dartmouth College. (2013, May 17). Climate change may have little impact on tropical lizards: Study contradicts predictions of widespread extinction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130517085821.htm
Dartmouth College. "Climate change may have little impact on tropical lizards: Study contradicts predictions of widespread extinction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130517085821.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
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