Effects of Temperature and Precipitation on Breeding Migrations of Amphibian Species in Southeastern Norway

Scientifica (Cairo). 2016;2016:3174316. doi: 10.1155/2016/3174316. Epub 2016 Apr 28.

Abstract

To reveal the effects of climate, a generalized linear mixed model was used to explore the variation in onset of spawning migration for the two newt species T. cristatus and L. vulgaris in southern Norway. Amphibians are highly influenced by the physical environment, such as temperature and rainfall. The first migrating newts were observed subsequently to the three first consecutive days with mean temperature close to or above 4°C. Further, migration of L. vulgaris was facilitated at lower temperatures compared to T. cristatus, but the migration was dependent on higher precipitation levels. Northern populations of T. cristatus and L. vulgaris may already benefit from a warmer climate due to increased recruitment and juvenile survival. However, an offset in the migration phenology due to climate change might further alter the recruitment and survival rates with either positive or negative outcome. Thus, variations in migration phenology for newts due to climate change may have implications for management and protection status in many systems. In a general context, we should increase emphasis on protecting newts and support increased populations and distribution.