Recent Products

ARMI biologists are always engaging in different amphibian studies across the country. Here is a list of their most recently published products.

Papers & Reports Biofluorescence in tiger salamanders documented in Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time
Authors: Benjamin Lafrance; Andrew M Ray; Amanda M Kissel; Erin L Muths
Date: 2021-12 | Outlet: Park Science
Recent work has shown that many amphibians are biofluorescent. Biofluorescence describes an organism’s ability to absorb visible and ultraviolet light and re-emit it at a lower energy level (e.g., blue light re-emitted as green fluorescence). However, the function of fluorescence in amphibians is unclear. We observed paedomorphic western tiger salamanders at Lily Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park and obtained the first images recorded at this park of biofluorescence in these animals in response to blue light.
Papers & Reports Long-term monitoring of a species suite of Ecological Indicators: A coordinated conservation framework for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Authors: Andrew M Ray; Melanie A Murphy; Blake R Hossack
Date: 2022-03 | Outlet: Ecological Indicators
Introduction piece for a special issue.
Papers & Reports ring species availability biases occupancy estimates in single-level occupancy models
Authors: Graziella V DiRenzo; David AW Miller; Evan H Campbell Grant
Outlet: Ecology
1. Most applications of single-level occupancy models do not differentiate between availability and detectability, even though species availability is rarely equal to one. The availability process includes elements of species movement, behavior, and phenology, and availability can be estimated using multi-scale occupancy models. However, for the practical application of multi-scale occupancy models, it can be unclear what a robust sampling design looks like and what the statistical properties of the multi-scale and single-level occupancy models are when availability is less than one.

2. Using simulations, we explore the following common questions asked by ecologists during the design phase of a field study: (Q1) what is a robust sampling design for the multi-scale occupancy model when there are a priori expectations of parameter estimates?, (Q2) what is a robust sampling design when we have no expectations of parameter estimates?, and (Q3) can a single-level occupancy model with a random effects term adequately absorb the extra heterogeneity produced when availability is less than one and provide reliable estimates of occupancy probability?.

3. Our results show that there is a tradeoff between the number of sites and surveys needed to achieve a specified level of acceptable error for occupancy estimates using the multi-scale occupancy model. We also document that when species availability is low (< https://0.40 on the probability scale), then single-level occupancy models severely underestimate occupancy by as much as https://0.40 on the probability scale, produce overly precise estimates, and provide poor parameter coverage. This pattern was observed when a random effects term was and was not included in the single-level occupancy model, suggesting that adding a random-effects term does not adequately absorb the extra heterogeneity produced by the availability process. In contrast, when species availability was high (> 0.60), single-level occupancy models performed similarly to the multi-scale occupancy model.

4. As a companion, we provide an RShiny app that allows users to further explore our results and determine optimal designs across different sampling scenarios https://gdirenzo.shinyapps.io/multi-scale-occ/. Our results suggest that unaccounted for availability can lead to underestimating species distributions using single-level occupancy models, which can have large implications on ecological inference and predictions for practitioners, such as those working at the front lines of invasion ecology, disease emergence, and species conservation.
Papers & Reports Identifying factors linked with persistence of reintroduced populations: lessons learned from 25 years of amphibian translocations
Authors: Blake R Hossack
Date: 2022 | Outlet: Global Ecology and Conservation
Most translocation efforts are unsuccessful, often for unknown reasons. We assessed factors linked with population persistence for 25 years of translocations of the federally threatened Chiricahua Leopard Frog. Local features were paramount, including habitat, predators, and restoration history. Timing and life stages stocked affected persistence, but rearing environment did not. Two or more translocations produced an approximate 4-yr increase in predicted population persistence.
Papers & Reports Multi-species amphibian monitoring across a protected landscape: critical reflections on 15 years of wetland monitoring in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks
Authors: Andrew M Ray; Blake R Hossack; W R Gould; S F Spear; Debra A Patla; P S Corn; R W Klaver; Paul E Bartelt; D Thoma; K Legg; R Daley; Charles R Peterson
Outlet: Ecological Indicators
Papers & Reports Late-season movement and habitat use by Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) in a large reservoir in Oregon, USA
Authors: Christopher A Pearl; Jennifer C Rowe; Brome McCreary; Michael J Adams
Date: 2022-03-04 | Outlet: Journal of Herpetology
Dam-created reservoirs are common landscape features that can provide habitat for amphibians, but their water level
fluctuations and nonnative predators can differ markedly from more natural habitats. We compared fall movement and habitat use by the
Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa) in the reservoir pool with nearby river and pond habitats at Crane Prairie Reservoir in central
Oregon, USA. Movement rate of frogs in the river and ponds declined as water temperature cooled. Reservoir frogs moved further than
those in the river or ponds, and their movement rate increased as water temperature cooled. Most frog locations across all site types were
in aquatic herbaceous vegetation. We did not find shifts in habitat between early and late fall. Increased movement and the lack of
habitat shift in our reservoir frogs deeper into fall contrast with R. pretiosa in non-reservoir sites in this study and others. Consistent use
of vegetation by reservoir frogs throughout the fall could indicate cover use in presence of fish predators. Our study provides additional
detail on the range of habitats used by R. pretiosa in fall and suggests areas for further work to improve survival in constructed sites with
abundant fish predators.
Papers & Reports Context-dependent variation in persistence of host populations in the face of disease
Authors: Bennett Hardy; Erin L Muths; David N Koons
Date: 2021-12 | Outlet: Journal of Animal Ecology
In Focus: Valenzuela-Sanchez, A., Azat, C., Cunningham, A. A., Delgado, S., Bacigalupe, L. D., Beltrand, J., Serrano, J. M., Sentenac, H., Haddow, N., Toledo, V., Schmidt, B. R., & Cayuela, H. (2022). Interpopulation differences in male reproductive effort drive the population dynamics of a host exposed to an emerging fungal pathogen. Journal of Animal Ecology, XX, XXXX-XXXX. Understanding the nuances of population persistence in the face of a stressor can help predict extinction risk and guide conservation actions. However, the exact mechanisms driving population stability may not always be known. In this paper, Valenzuela-Sanchez et al. (2022) integrate long-term mark-recapture data, focal measurements of reproductive effort, a population matrix model, and inferences on life history variation to reveal differences in demographic response to disease in a susceptible frog species (Rhinoderma darwinii). Valenzuela-Sanchez et al. found that demographic compensation via compensatory recruitment explained the positive population growth rate in their high disease prevalence population whereas the low disease prevalence population did not compensate and thus had decreasing population growth. Compensatory recruitment was likely due to the high probability of males brooding, and the high number of brooded larvae in the high prevalence population compared to low prevalence and disease-free populations. Valenzuela-Sanchez et al. also document faster generation times in the high prevalence population, which may indicate a faster life history that may be contributing to the population’s ability to compensate for reduced survival. Lastly, the authors find a positive relationship between disease prevalence and the number of juveniles in a given population that suggest a possible prevalence threshold when increased reproductive effort may occur. Altogether, their study provides novel support for increased reproductive effort as the pathway for compensatory recruitment leading to increasing population growth despite strong negative effects of disease on adult survival. Their results also caution the overgeneralization of the effects of stressors (e.g., disease) on population dynamics, where context-dependent responses may differ among host populations of a given species.
Papers & Reports Effects of salinity and RU486 on waterborne aldosterone and corticosterone of larval northern leopard frog larvae
Authors: B J Tornabene; Creagh W Breuner; Blake R Hossack; E J Crespi
Date: 2022-02-01 | Outlet: General and Comparative Endocrinology
testIncreased salinity is an emerging contaminant of concern for aquatic taxa. For amphibians exposed to salinity, there is scarce information about the physiological effects and changes in osmoregulatory hormones such as corticosterone (CORT) and aldosterone (ALDO). Recent studies have quantified effects of salinity on CORT physiology of amphibians based on waterborne hormone collection methods, but much less is known about ALDO in iono- and osmoregulation of amphibians. We re-assayed waterborne hormone samples from a previous study to investigate effects of salinity (sodium chloride, NaCl) and a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist (RU486) on ALDO of northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) larvae. We also investigated relationships between ALDO and CORT. Waterborne ALDO marginally decreased with increasing salinity and was, unexpectedly, positively correlated with baseline and stress-induced waterborne CORT. Importantly, ALDO increased when larvae were exposed to RU486, suggesting that RU486 may also suppress mineralocorticoid receptors or that negative feedback of ALDO is mediated through glucocorticoid receptors. Alternatively, CORT increases with RU486 treatment and might be a substrate for ALDO synthesis, which could account for increases in ALDO with RU486 treatment and the correlation between CORT and ALDO. ALDO was negatively correlated with percent water, such that larvae secreting more ALDO retained less water. Although sample sizes were limited and further validation and studies are warranted, our findings expand our understanding of adrenal steroid responses to salinization in amphibians and proposes new hypotheses regarding the co-regulation of ALDO and CORT.
Papers & Reports Hemidactylus parvimaculatus (Sri lankan Spotted House Gecko)
Authors: Christopher M Pellecchia; Brad M Glorioso; Robert W Mendyk; Charles A Collen; V Ch Montross; William McGighan; K Macedo; B R Maldonado; I N Morenc
Date: 2019-09-01 | Outlet: Herpetological Review
Describes three new parish records for this exotic species in Louisiana

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