Rising temperatures could endanger lizard survival

in News · 12-09-2019 12:00:00 · 1 Comments
Rising temperatures could endanger lizard survival

An international team, in collaboration with the Centre for Research on Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO-InBIO), concluded that rising temperatures caused by climate change could endanger the survival of lizards.

In a statement, the research centre at the University of Porto explains the research, published in the journal Nature Communications, aimed to answer the question "How to predict the effect of climate change, particularly temperature, on the survival of lizards in different environments?"

"Many lizard populations are declining as a result of rising global temperatures associated with changes in rainfall, habitat loss and fragmentation," said CIBIO-InBIO.

For this, 45 researchers from 17 countries came together to study the genomic analysis and physiology of a group of lizards - the lacertids - which are widely distributed across Europe, Asia and Africa.

The researchers analysed the genomes of more than 260 species of lacertids to "infer their evolutionary history" and conducted experiments to determine their preferred temperature as well as their tolerance for water shortage in arid conditions.

"As already observed in other lizards, the study now published points out that many species of lacertids live today in environments where climatic conditions are very close to the limits of their physiology," says the research centre.

Cited in the statement, Miguel Carretero, co-author of the article, explains that the results "demonstrate that, although lacertids originated in a period of warm climate, as the planet's temperature subsequently cooled, a group of species, including many of the species now present in Europe, have adapted to occupy regions of cold climate."

"What has been appropriate for the past can now put them on the brink of extinction if the current warming trend continues," says the researcher.

Given that the survival of many species could be threatened by rapidly rising temperatures, the researchers identified two groups of "special interest" and "conservation priority": tropical lacertids and those living in temperate climates, as in Europe.

"In the Iberian Peninsula, the diversity of lizards encompasses species adapted to both hot and dry as well as cold and wet climates. According to our study, species of cold and wet climates will be the most exposed to predicted climate change, including endemic species such as Mountain Gecko, Carbonell Gecko and Valverde Gecko” says the researcher.

However, Miguel Carretero concludes that "if nothing is done to minimiSe the effects of short-term climate change, other species with similar physiological characteristics may be equally affected."


Comments:

I would think that besides lizards many more species from animal and plant groups would be adversely affected by rising temperatures due to the Climate Crisis.

by Steve Andrews from Other on 12-09-2019 09:50:00
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.