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Posted Thu Apr 29 2010: from PNAS, via Environmental Research Web:
Double whammy for amphibians
It's clear that the world's amphibians are in trouble - many species have become extinct since the 1980s. What's less obvious is exactly what's causing the problem; climate change and a chytrid fungus are both suspects. Now a US team has linked the extinctions to increased temperature variability caused by El Nino events. They believe this is reducing amphibian's defences against disease.... "Given that global El Nino events and temperature variability were the best predictors of amphibian declines, we believe our results support the notion that global climate change might be contributing to increases in tropical, and perhaps worldwide, enigmatic amphibian declines."... "If changes to climate variation and extreme climate events affect disease risk and species interactions in general, models based on changes to mean climate alone will not effectively predict the biological effects of climate change."
[Read more stories about: amphibian collapse, climate impacts, weather extremes, weakened immunity]

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