John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Metals‐mediated climate susceptibility in a warming world: Larval and latent effects on a model amphibian

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Though sophisticated models predict the effects of future temperatures on ectotherms, few also address how ubiquitous sublethal contaminants alter an organism's response to thermal stress. In ectotherms, higher metabolic rates from warming temperatures can beneficially speed metabolism and development. If compounded by chronic, sublethal pollution, additional resource demands for elimination or detoxification may limit their ability to cope with rising temperatures—the toxicant‐induced climate susceptibility hypothesis. In outdoor bioassays, using natural lake water as the background, we investigated the development of a model ectotherm in 6 levels of Cd, Cu, and Pb mixtures and 3 thermal regimes of diel temperature fluctuations: ambient, +1.5, or +2.5 °C. Warming had no effect on wild‐caught Cope's grey treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) until metals concentrations were ∼10‐fold of their bioavailable chronic criterion unit (BCCU; sums of bioavailable fractions of chronic criteria concentrations). In treatments >10 BCCU and +1.5 °C, growth increased. Conversely, in treatments with 28 BCCU and maximal, +2.5 °C warming, growth declined and the body condition of post‐metamorphic juveniles at 20 d was 34% lower than that of juveniles from background conditions (lake water at ambient temperatures). These findings suggest toxicant‐induced climate susceptibility with long‐term latent effects on the juvenile lifestage. Sublethal contaminants can intensify the impact on aquatic ectotherms from the most conservative levels of predicted global warming over the next century. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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