Researchers believe that climate change may be affecting how frogs can withstand road salt pollution.
The rising temperatures due to climate change could begin to lure out spring-breeding frogs, causing them to mate and lay their eggs too early, right before the worst of winter.
This would throw off their entire life cycle, as the eggs would be at risk due to the cold weather.
The researchers believe that the eggs that do survive and hatch might also experience another side effect of climate change: a decreased ability to withstand a common wetland contaminate called road salt.
Studies showed that wood frog eggs that survived the cold took longer to develop and were smaller. They were also less able to withstand the effects of road salt pollution.
This could be an alarming sign for the future of spring-breeding frog species. Generations of frogs could slowly be developing slower and slower, creating much weaker and less climate-resilient species that will not be able to adapt to their changing environment.
Over time, this could eventually lead to the endangerment of this species group. The new generations of frogs are less capable of surviving in a highly polluted environment, and are less able to evolve with the changes that come with climate change.
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This article by Abigail Jane was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 16 October 2021. Lead Image Source : David Clode/Unsplash.
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