Open habitats increase vulnerability of amphibian tadpoles to climate warming across latitude

Chung Te Cheng, Ming Feng Chuang, Takashi Haramura, Chaun Bin Cheng, Ye Inn Kim, Amaël Borzée, Chi Shiun Wu, Yi Huey Chen, Yikweon Jang, Nicholas C. Wu, Yeong Choy Kam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Global warming and deforestation are pushing species closer to their physiological limit, especially for species with habitat-restricted life stages because sunlit areas have higher maximum temperatures. Here, we examined the critical thermal maximum (CTmax), and maximum environmental water temperature (Tmax) of larvae from 29 anuran species across a latitudinal gradient (22–43° N) to test how latitude and habitat type (open or closed-forest ponds) affected warming tolerance, an index of vulnerability to climate change. Location: Taiwan, Korea, Japan. Time period: Present. Major taxa studied: Anurans. Results: We showed that open ponds lowered warming tolerance, regardless of latitude and phylogenetic clustering, contrasting the established literature that warming tolerance is lower at tropical latitudes, which only applied to species in forest ponds in this study. Importantly, biophysical models at the local scale suggest that increasing deforestation will exacerbate the effects of climate warming on warming tolerance. Main conclusions: Local effects of accelerated warming and habitat modification mean that species with range-restricted life stages will become more vulnerable to anthropogenic change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Yoonhyuk Bae, Yuan-Mou Chang, Yu-Jie Cheng, Yuan-Cheng Cheng, Jiman Heo, Jia-Jiun Hu, Kyungmin Kim, Hakyung Kang, Sera Kwon, Songyi Lee for their assistance with the experiments. We thank Han River riverine environment, Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea, Rakuno Gakuen University, Hokkaido, Japan, Lien-Hua-Chih Research Center, Taiwan, College of Bio-Resources and Agriculture, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, and The Forestry Bureau, Taiwan for approval to conduct this study.

Funding Information:
This research was supported by research grants from the Rural Development Administration of Korea (PJ01228503) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (2017R1A2B2003579) to YJ, and the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST 107‐2621‐B‐029‐001‐MY3) to YCK.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • amphibian decline
  • critical thermal maximum
  • latitudinal variation
  • macrophysiology
  • microhabitat
  • thermal tolerance
  • warming tolerance


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