The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.
Authors: Rafael Hernández-Guzmán, Luis H. Escalera-Vázquez & Ireri Suazo-Ortuño
Abstract: Global climate change represents one of the most important threats to wildlife populations. Amphibians, specifically
salamanders, are particularly susceptible to the effects of a changing climate due to their restrictive physiological requirements
and low vagility; however, little is known about which amphibian species are more vulnerable to climate change. Therefore,
we aimed to forecast changes in the distribution of the mountain stream salamander, Ambystoma ordinarium, using different climate scenarios. Approximately 70 representative presence records were selected to model the current potential distribution and two scenarios based on 2070 climate projections (RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5) using the MaxEnt algorithm and three global climate models (BCC-CSM1-1, CCSM4 and HadGEM2-ES). A total of three scenarios were simulated using the 10-percentile training presence as the threshold rule. For all scenarios, the average of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the replicated runs was greater than 0.95 ± 0.005, representing good performance for the current and projected geographical distributions of A. ordinarium. Under the most conservative scenario, of a total area of 45,876 km2, an average potential distribution area of 5,627 km2 was defined for current conditions, decreasing to 4,406 km2 for BCCCSM1-1 in the optimistic scenario (RCP 2.6) and decreasing to 4,020 km2 for CCSM4 in the pessimistic scenario (RCP 8.5). The results are useful for the development of future conservation plans, identifying landscapes with high probability to be further affected by climate change and to target potentially resilient habitats that provide consistent climatic conditions for A. ordinarium in the face of environmental changes.
Keywords: Ambystoma ordinarium; Global climate models; MaxEnt; Salamanders; Species distribution model.