Post-breeding movement and habitat use by Wood Frogs along an Arctic-Subarctic ecotone
By altering essential micro- and macrohabitat conditions for many organisms, climate change is already causing disproportionately great impacts on Arctic and Subarctic ecosystems. Yet, there is a lack of basic information for many species in northern latitudes, including amphibians. We used radio telemetry to study the post-breeding movements and habitat use of wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) in the Hudson Bay Lowlands near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. We tracked 57 frogs (35 males, 22 females; mean duration = 16.8 days) from three wetlands during summer 2015 and 2016. The three wetlands were representative of the Arctic-Subarctic ecotone, with each wetland surrounded by different proportions of boreal forest and tundra. Our results indicate that the landscape scale, movement distances increased with temperature and all frogs spent more time in the tundra habitat than in boreal forest, relative to the availability of each habitat type. At the microhabitat scale (1 m2 plots), frogs selected areas with greater amounts of standing water, sedge, and shrubs. These results provide information on terrestrial movement patterns and critical habitat data for northern populations of wood frogs in a Subarctic environment, which will aid in understanding how climate change will affect amphibians in this rapidly-changing ecosystem.
|Outlet/Publisher:||Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 50:e1487657|