Breeding phenology of the lowland leopard frog (Rana yavapaiensis)

Implications for conservation and ecology

S. S. Sartorius, Philip C Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We monitored breeding phenology and population levels of Rana yavapaiensis by use of repeated egg mass censuses and visual encounter surveys at Agua Caliente Canyon near Tucson, Arizona, from 1994 to 1996. Adult counts fluctuated erratically within each year of the study but annual means remained similar. Juvenile counts peaked during the fall recruitment season and fell to near zero by early spring. Rana yavapaiensis deposited eggs in two distinct annual episodes, one in spring (March-May) and a much smaller one in fall (September-October). Larvae from the spring deposition period completed metamorphosis in early summer. Over the two years of study, 96.6% of egg masses successfully produced larvae. Egg masses were deposited during periods of predictable, moderate stream flow, but not during seasonal periods when flash flooding or drought were likely to affect eggs or larvae. Breeding phenology of Rana yavapaiensis is particularly well suited for life in desert streams with natural flow regimes which include frequent flash flooding and drought at predictable times. The exotic predators of R. yavapaiensis are less able to cope with fluctuating conditions. Unaltered stream flow regimes that allow natural fluctuations in stream discharge may provide refugia for this declining ranid frog from exotic predators by excluding those exotic species that are unable to cope with brief flash flooding and habitat drying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Volume45
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

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Rana
frog
egg masses
phenology
frogs
lowlands
breeding
stream flow
egg
ecology
larvae
drought
flooding
predators
larva
canyons
streamflow
refuge habitats
metamorphosis
deserts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Breeding phenology of the lowland leopard frog (Rana yavapaiensis) : Implications for conservation and ecology. / Sartorius, S. S.; Rosen, Philip C.

In: Southwestern Naturalist, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2000, p. 267-273.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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