Influence of climate drivers on colonization and extinction dynamics of wetland-dependent species

By: , and 



Freshwater wetlands are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Specifically, changes in temperature, precipitation, and evapotranspiration (i.e., climate drivers) are likely to alter flooding regimes of wetlands and affect the vital rates, abundance, and distributions of wetland-dependent species. Amphibians may be among the most climate-sensitive wetland-dependent groups, as many species rely on shallow or intermittently flooded wetland habitats for breeding. Here, we integrated multiple years of high-resolution gridded climate and amphibian monitoring data from Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks to explicitly model how variations in climate drivers and habitat conditions affect the occurrence and breeding dynamics (i.e., annual extinction and colonization rates) of amphibians. Our results showed that models incorporating climate drivers outperformed models of amphibian breeding dynamics that were exclusively habitat based. Moreover, climate-driven variation in extinction rates, but not colonization rates, disproportionately influenced amphibian occupancy in monitored wetlands. Long-term monitoring from national parks coupled with high-resolution climate data sets will be crucial to describing population dynamics and characterizing the sensitivity of amphibians and other wetland-dependent species to climate change. Further, long-term monitoring of wetlands in national parks will help reduce uncertainty surrounding wetland resources and strengthen opportunities to make informed, science-based decisions that have far-reaching benefits.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Influence of climate drivers on colonization and extinction dynamics of wetland-dependent species
Series title Ecosphere
DOI 10.1002/ecs2.1409
Edition Article e01409
Volume 7
Issue 7
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Country United States
Other Geospatial Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N