Amphibians and climate change: Perspectives on where we are & looking forward
Results/Conclusions: Among the primary mechanisms affecting amphibian populations are: 1) hydrologic changes to amphibian habitat, 2) thermal impacts, 3) changes in phenology, and 4) potential for altered disease dynamics. These will collectively affect individual physiology and behavior; habitat availability and suitability and hence population distributions and connectivity; species interactions; regional community dynamics; and ultimately the endangerment or robustness of species and groups. Looking forward, case studies from montane and arid lands regions of the Pacific Northwest demonstrate how some of these challenges are beginning to be addressed. For example, improved remote sensing methods for identifying unmapped wetlands and reconstructing historical wetland hydrographs make it possible to establish better historical baselines, evaluate current conditions, and assess changes in wetland availability for amphibians. These can be linked to new approaches for modeling wetland hydrology and climate impacts on wetlands at landscape scales. The combination of these tools make it possible to identify potential hotspots of habitat loss for given species or assemblages; evaluate and develop climate adaptation strategies; inform monitoring design; and develop new hypotheses to test to enhance our knowledge of amphibians and climate change.