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Climate change ecology

Following frogs as they flee

One idea proposed to help species cope with climate change is to ensure that habitat corridors remain available to allow animals to shift their ranges. But a study suggests that some species may still become endangered in a warmer world, even with suitable space to range.

Regan Early at the University of Évora in Portugal and Dov Sax at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, analysed the path that 15 amphibian species in the western United States are likely to have to travel by 2100 to maintain their preferred environmental conditions. The duo found that a key predictor of success was a species' ability to live with unfavourable climate for up to a decade. Furthermore, they say, the variable rate of climate change may mean that some parts of the path exist for too short a time for the amphibians to move through.

The authors conclude that conservationists may need to move certain species, even if habitat corridors do exist.

Ecol. Lett. 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01681.x (2011)

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Following frogs as they flee. Nature 478, 9 (2011).

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