Frogs that can take the heat expected to fare better in a changing world

Amphibians that tolerate higher temperatures are likely to fare better in a world affected by climate change, disease and habitat loss, according to two recent studies from the University of California, Davis.Frogs are disappearing globally, and the studies examine why some survive while others perish. The studies reveal that thermal tolerance -- the ability to withstand higher temperatures -- may be a key trait in predicting amphibian declines.HEAT-TOLERANT FROGS ESCAPE DEADLY FUNGUSOne of the world's deadliest wildlife pandemics is caused by a fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd. The fungus is linked to several amphibian extinctions and global declines.

Ocean acidification affects predator-prey response

Ocean acidification makes it harder for sea snails to escape from their sea star predators, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.The findings, published in the journal Proceedings of The Royal Society B, suggest that by disturbing predator-prey interactions, ocean acidification could spur cascading consequences for food web systems in shoreline ecosystems.For instance, black turban snails graze on algae. If more snails are eaten by predators, algae densities could increase."Ocean acidification can affect individual marine organisms along the Pacific coast, by changing the chemistry of the seawater," said lead author Brittany Jellison, a Ph.D. student studying marine ecology at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory.