Royal Society Open Science
The Royal Society
To accurately predict the impact of environmental change, it is necessary to assay effects of key interacting stressors on vulnerable organisms, and the potential resiliency of their populations. Yet, for the most part, these critical data are missing. We examined the effects of two common abiotic stressors predicted to interact with climate change, salinity and temperature, on the embryonic survival and development of a model freshwater vertebrate, the rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa) from different populations. We found that salinity and temperature significantly interacted to affect newt embryonic survival and development, with the negative effects of salinity most pronounced at temperature extremes. We also found significant variation among, and especially within, populations, with different females varying in the performance of their eggs at different salinity–temperature combinations, possibly providing the raw material for future natural selection. Our results highlight the complex nature of predicting responses to climate change in space and time, and provide critical data towards that aim.
Hopkins, Gareth R.; French, Susannah S.; and Brodie, Edmund D., "Interacting stressors and the potential for adaptation in a changing world: responses of populations and individuals" (2017). Biology Faculty Publications. Paper 1567.