Increasing salinity stress decreases the thermal tolerance of amphibian tadpoles in coastal areas of Taiwan

Ming Feng Chuang, Yu Jie Cheng, Desiree Andersen, Amaël Borzée, Chi Shiun Wu, Yuan Mou Chang, Yi Ju Yang, Yikweon Jang, Yeong Choy Kam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Global warming is the main cause for the rise of both global temperatures and sea-level, both major variables threatening biodiversity. Rising temperatures threaten to breach the thermal limits of organisms while rising sea-level threatens the osmotic balance of coastal animals through habitat salinization. However, variations in thermal tolerance under different salinity stresses have not yet been thoroughly studied. In this study, we assessed the critical thermal maxima (CTmax) of amphibian tadpoles in different salinity conditions. We collected tadpoles of Duttaphrynus melanostictus, Fejervarya limnocharis and Microhyla fissipes from coastal areas and housed them in freshwater, low, and high salinity treatments for 7 days of acclimation. The CTmax, survival rate, and development rate of tadpoles in high salinity treatments were significantly lower than that of the two other treatments. Our results indicate that physiological performances and heat tolerances of tadpoles are negatively affected by salinization. Maximum entropy models showed that CTmax and sea-level rise are predicted to negatively affect the distribution of the three focal species. The present results suggest that global warming can lead to negative dual-impacts on coastal animals because of reduced thermal tolerances at elevated salinity. The impacts of global warming on anurans in coastal areas and other habitats impacted by salinization may be more severe than predicted and it is likely to cause similar dual-impacts on other ectotherms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9014
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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