Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Foothill yellow-legged frog provides insight on river management

Date:
May 16, 2011
Source:
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Summary:
River flow fluctuations downstream of dams are often out of sync with natural flow patterns and can have significant negative effects on aquatic species, such as native frogs, according to scientists.

Rana boylii.
Credit: Photo by R. Peek

River flow fluctuations downstream of dams are often out of sync with natural flow patterns and can have significant negative effects on aquatic species, such as native frogs, according to a team of scientists from the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station, the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Berkeley.

The team examined how altered water flows caused by hydroelectric dams impact the life cycle of the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii). The frog, which lives in foothill regions from southern California to southern Oregon, completes its life cycle exclusively in riverine environments. The species is well-adapted to predictable flow patterns that are high during the spring run-off period and low during the summer. Changes to these patterns affect the survival of eggs and tadpoles and consequently are likely to be a primary factor in limiting populations of this declining species, scientists say.

Findings from three recent research projects are published in Copeia, River Research and Applications, and Conservation Genetics. These studies revealed that R. boylii tadpoles are not strong swimmers and do not survive the high flow events that can occur during the summer months in many dammed rivers, leading to local population declines. The team tested a habitat modeling tool that is commonly used for fish, with eggs and tadpole data from R. boylii, and found that it could provide reliable predictions of habitat changes under different flow scenarios. Genetic research conducted by the team identified several isolated and unique populations at the extremes of the geographic range and also demonstrated the important role of river basins in defining relationships among populations. The combined results of this work can guide conservation planning for the species.

Managing water discharge from hydroelectric dams to mirror the environment's natural flow is ideal, but this approach may not meet the needs of human consumption and energy demands.

"To conserve riverine species, one solution may be to restore some of the key characteristics of natural flow patterns, especially the timing of high and low flow periods," says Amy Lind, wildlife biologist at the Pacific Southwest Research Station in Davis, Calif., and co-author of three recent papers on R. boylii ecology and genetics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Sarah J Kupferberg, Amy J Lind, Vanessa Thill, Sarah M Yarnell. Water Velocity Tolerance in Tadpoles of the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii): Swimming Performance, Growth, and Survival. Copeia, 2011; 2011 (1): 141 DOI: 10.1643/CH-10-035
  2. Amy J. Lind, Phillip Q. Spinks, Gary M. Fellers, H. Bradley Shaffer. Rangewide phylogeography and landscape genetics of the Western U.S. endemic frog Rana boylii (Ranidae): implications for the conservation of frogs and rivers. Conservation Genetics, 2010; 12 (1): 269 DOI: 10.1007/s10592-010-0138-0
  3. S. M. Yarnell, A. J. Lind, J. F. Mount. Dynamic flow modelling of riverine amphibian habitat with application to regulated flow management. River Research and Applications, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/rra.1447

Cite This Page:

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Foothill yellow-legged frog provides insight on river management." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516162147.htm>.
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. (2011, May 16). Foothill yellow-legged frog provides insight on river management. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516162147.htm
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Foothill yellow-legged frog provides insight on river management." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516162147.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins