Posted: December 2, 2022

Red-backed salamanders may shift northward in response to climate change.

Credit: David Munoz

Credit: David Munoz

In a new study led by scientists in the college, researchers devised a method to measure the metabolic rate of red-backed salamanders from different regions exposed to warmer temperatures--analyzing how much more energy the small, hardy woodland amphibians would expend to survive in the forests they now inhabit from Quebec south to North Carolina, and west to Missouri and Minnesota.

They determined that if average temperatures rise as projected in eastern North America in coming decades, the salamander likely will be unable to adjust, and its range may shift northward. In findings published in Ecology and Evolution, the researchers reported that no populations showed adjusted metabolic rate responses sufficient to deal with projected future climate temperatures .

--Jeff Mulhollem