Affects of temperature change on the distribution and timing of seasonal events of the Garden Skink (Lampropholis Guichenoti)

Abstract The common garden skink, otherwise known as the Lampropholis guichenoti is heavily dependent on weather and favour warmer climates which make them a good indicator species for the effects of climate change. Relevant data was accessed from ClimateWatch, the Atlas of Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology. The results of historical (1970 - 2010) and recent (2009 - 2014) data were then compared to determine whether the changes in temperature have affected the distribution of the Lampropholis guichenoti over time and whether the timing of the seasonal events differed between the years 2013 and 2014 in relation to temperature change.

The sightings in recent data were insufficient to distil whether there has been a change in seasonal events over time. As these sightings were submitted by citizen scientists, it is clear that man-made habitats are not suitable for observing seasonal events such as breeding and hatching of the eggs. Thus, the Lampropholis guichenoti are suitable to observe distribution over time but not for comparing the changes in seasonal events to the changes in weather over time.

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1 Introduction

Industrialization has led to global warming (Hughes, 2003) which in turn has led to an increase in temperature. The overall increase in temperature between the years of 1880 to 2012 across lands and oceans globally was 0.85°C (UCAR, 2013). Due to global warming, the annual mean temperature in Australia has increased from 1910 to 2011 by 0.9°C (Bureau of Meteorology 2012). This increase in temperature has caused changes in rainfall and sea levels (Hughes 2003). In a previous study by Hughes (2003), this change in climate has caused a significant effect on the timing...

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