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Impact of global warming at the range margins: phenotypic plasticity and behavioral thermoregulation will buffer an endemic amphibian


Ruiz Aravena, M and Gonzalez-Mendez, A and Estay, SA and Gaitan-Espitia, JD and Barria-Oyarzo, I and Bartheld, JL and Bacigalupe, LD, Impact of global warming at the range margins: phenotypic plasticity and behavioral thermoregulation will buffer an endemic amphibian, Ecology and Evolution, 4, (23) pp. 4467-4475. ISSN 2045-7758 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

DOI: doi:10.1002/ece3.1315


When dispersal is not an option to evade warming temperatures, compensation through behavior, plasticity, or evolutionary adaptation is essential to prevent extinction. In this work, we evaluated whether there is physiological plasticity in the thermal performance curve (TPC) of maximum jumping speed in individuals acclimated to current and projected temperatures and whether there is an opportunity for behavioral thermoregulation in the desert landscape where inhabits the northernmost population of the endemic frog Pleurodema thaul. Our results indicate that individuals acclimated to 20C and 25C increased the breath of their TPCs by shifting their upper limits with respect to when they were acclimated at 10C. In addition, even when dispersal is not possible for this population, the landscape is heterogeneous enough to offer opportunities for behavioral thermoregulation. In particular, under current climatic conditions, behavioral thermoregulation is not compulsory as available operative temperatures are encompassed within the population TPC limits. However, for severe projected temperatures under climate change, behavioral thermoregulation will be required in the sunny patches. In overall, our results suggest that this population of Pleurodema thaul will be able to endure the worst projected scenario of climate warming as it has not only the physiological capacities but also the environmental opportunities to regulate its body temperature behaviorally.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:amphibian, behavioral thermoregulation, global warming, operative temperature, phenotypic plasticity, thermal performance curve, thermal tolerance
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Zoology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Ruiz Aravena, M (Mr Manuel Ruiz Aravena)
ID Code:98506
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2015-02-18
Last Modified:2015-04-02

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