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Potential effects of climate change on Ambystoma barbouri (streamside salamander)

April 5, 2023

Ambystoma barbouri (streamside salamanders) are stream-breeding mole salamanders that rely on seasonally intermittent, fishless streams for egg and larval development but are primarily fossorial as adults. Climate-driven changes are likely to alter streamflow duration, peak, and seasonality within the range of A. barbouri, reducing reproductive habitat and larval survival. Although future changes in precipitation volume within the geographic range of A. barbouri are uncertain, in the next 90 years, increasing temperatures will likely increase potential evapotranspiration. Decreasing ratio of precipitation to potential evapotranspiration will likely shorten flow duration for intermittent streams, potentially causing earlier stream dry downs before larval metamorphosis. Increased temperatures may also shorten developmental periods buffering A. barbouri larvae from the effects of increased stream no-flow days. Additionally, precipitation in the future will increasingly fall in heavy rainfall events. Heavy rain and subsequent flooding during early larval stages may displace A. barbouri larvae from fishless pools into downstream reaches with vertebrate predators that can reduce survival. Finally, agriculture and urban land cover may amplify the stresses of climate change on A. barbouri, altering reproductive habitat and reducing survival of larval, juvenile, and adult life stages.

Publication Year 2023
Title Potential effects of climate change on Ambystoma barbouri (streamside salamander)
DOI 10.3133/ofr20211104C
Authors Marta P. Lyons, Olivia E. LeDee, Ryan Boyles
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2021-1104
Index ID ofr20211104C
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center