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Carey, C., and M. A. Alexander, 2003: Climate change and amphibian declines: Is there a link? Diversity and Distributions, 9, 111-121.


Global climates have been changing, sometimes rapidly and dramatically, throughout the evolutionary history of amphibians. Therefore, existing amphibian species have been derived from those that have survived major climatic disturbances. Although recent global climate change has resulted in warming in many regions, temperatures in some areas to date have not changed measurably, or have even cooled. Declines of some amphibian populations have been correlated with climate events, but demonstrations of direct casual relationships need further research. Data are available indicating some indirect effect of climate change on the initiation of breeding activities of some amphibians that occur earlier than in previous springs, but the costs and benefits of these changes are just beginning to be investigated. Climate may also play an indirect role in facilitating epidemics of infectious disease. Regardless of the role that climate changes may have played in past and current amphibian declines, future shifts in climate, should they prove as dramatic as predicted, will certainly pose challenges for surviving amphibian populations and for successful recovery efforts of species that have suffered declines.