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Title: Spatial and temporal ecology of oak toads (Bufo quercicus) on a Florida landscape.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: We used data from 10 years of continuous, concurrent monitoring of oak toads at eight isolated, ephemeral ponds in Florida longleaf pine-wiregrass uplands to address: (1) did weather variables affect movement patterns of oak toads?; (2) did pond hydrology and the condition of surrounding uplands affect pond selection by adults or juvenile recruitment?; (3) were population trends evident?; and (4) did a classical metapopulation model best represent their population ecology? Of 4076 oak toads captured, 92.2% were adults. Substantial (n _ 30 exiting juveniles) recruitment occurred only three times (once each at three ponds during two years). Males outnumbered females (average for all years 2.3:1). Most captures occurred during May–September. Adult captures during June–August increased with heavier rainfall but were not influenced by the durations of preceding dry periods. Movement patterns of metamorphs suggested that oak toads emigrated when moisture conditions become favorable. Pond use by adults was correlated with maximum change in pond depth (May–September). Juvenile recruitment was negatively correlated with minimum pond depth and the number of weeks since a pond was last dry, and positively correlated with the maximum number of weeks a pond held water continuously. The number of breeding adults and juvenile recruitment weremore » highest at ponds within the hardwood-invaded upland matrix. The direction of most immigrations and emigrations was nonrandom, but movement occurred from all directions, and the mean direction of pond entry and exit did not always correspond. A total of 21.1% of individuals was recaptured; 13.3% of first captures were recaptured during the same year, and 7.7% during a subsequent year. Only 1.9% of captured oak toads moved among ponds, mostly within a distance of 132 m. We did not detect adult population trends over the 10- yr studied. Presence or absence at ponds in any given year was a poor indicator of overall use. We saw little evidence of local extinction or ‘‘rescue,’’ but were unable to determine whether juveniles returned to natal ponds or colonized new ponds for breeding as adults. Oak toad conservation can best be ensured by maintaining multiple ponds within a landscape to increase the probability of recruitment within the landscape neighborhood during at least some years and at some ponds, and to increase the likelihood of interpond movement.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, New Ellenton, SC
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE - Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
881969
Report Number(s):
na
05-24-P; TRN: US200721%%339
DOE Contract Number:
AI09-00SR22188
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Herpetologica; Journal Volume: 61; Journal Issue: 4
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; ADULTS; BREEDING; ECOLOGY; FEMALES; HYDROLOGY; JUVENILES; MALES; MOISTURE; MONITORING; PONDS; PROBABILITY; TOADS; WATER; WEATHER; Amphibian populations; Anuran breeding; Bufo quercicus; Ephemeral ponds; Hydroperiod; Metapopulation; Oak toads; Temporary wetlands; Wetlands

Citation Formats

Greenberg, Cathryn, H., and Tanner, George, W. Spatial and temporal ecology of oak toads (Bufo quercicus) on a Florida landscape.. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.1655/04-89.1.
Greenberg, Cathryn, H., & Tanner, George, W. Spatial and temporal ecology of oak toads (Bufo quercicus) on a Florida landscape.. United States. doi:10.1655/04-89.1.
Greenberg, Cathryn, H., and Tanner, George, W. Thu . "Spatial and temporal ecology of oak toads (Bufo quercicus) on a Florida landscape.". United States. doi:10.1655/04-89.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/881969.
@article{osti_881969,
title = {Spatial and temporal ecology of oak toads (Bufo quercicus) on a Florida landscape.},
author = {Greenberg, Cathryn, H. and Tanner, George, W.},
abstractNote = {ABSTRACT: We used data from 10 years of continuous, concurrent monitoring of oak toads at eight isolated, ephemeral ponds in Florida longleaf pine-wiregrass uplands to address: (1) did weather variables affect movement patterns of oak toads?; (2) did pond hydrology and the condition of surrounding uplands affect pond selection by adults or juvenile recruitment?; (3) were population trends evident?; and (4) did a classical metapopulation model best represent their population ecology? Of 4076 oak toads captured, 92.2% were adults. Substantial (n _ 30 exiting juveniles) recruitment occurred only three times (once each at three ponds during two years). Males outnumbered females (average for all years 2.3:1). Most captures occurred during May–September. Adult captures during June–August increased with heavier rainfall but were not influenced by the durations of preceding dry periods. Movement patterns of metamorphs suggested that oak toads emigrated when moisture conditions become favorable. Pond use by adults was correlated with maximum change in pond depth (May–September). Juvenile recruitment was negatively correlated with minimum pond depth and the number of weeks since a pond was last dry, and positively correlated with the maximum number of weeks a pond held water continuously. The number of breeding adults and juvenile recruitment were highest at ponds within the hardwood-invaded upland matrix. The direction of most immigrations and emigrations was nonrandom, but movement occurred from all directions, and the mean direction of pond entry and exit did not always correspond. A total of 21.1% of individuals was recaptured; 13.3% of first captures were recaptured during the same year, and 7.7% during a subsequent year. Only 1.9% of captured oak toads moved among ponds, mostly within a distance of 132 m. We did not detect adult population trends over the 10- yr studied. Presence or absence at ponds in any given year was a poor indicator of overall use. We saw little evidence of local extinction or ‘‘rescue,’’ but were unable to determine whether juveniles returned to natal ponds or colonized new ponds for breeding as adults. Oak toad conservation can best be ensured by maintaining multiple ponds within a landscape to increase the probability of recruitment within the landscape neighborhood during at least some years and at some ponds, and to increase the likelihood of interpond movement.},
doi = {10.1655/04-89.1},
journal = {Herpetologica},
number = 4,
volume = 61,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 2005},
month = {Thu Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 2005}
}
  • Effective amphibian conservation must consider population and landscape processes, but information at multiple scales is rare. We explore spatial and temporal patterns of breeding and recruitment by Eastern Spadefoot Toads (Scaphiopus holbrookii), using 9 years of data from continuous monitoring with drift fences and pitfall traps at 8 ephemeral ponds in longleaf pine-wiregrass sandhills. Breeding events (>25 adults at a pond within a month) occurred 23 times on nine occasions at seven of the eight study ponds, but substantial recruitment(>100 metamorphs) followed only five events. Recruitment ranged from 0-4,648 among ponds. Only four ponds functioned as population ''sources'', but onlymore » during some years. The other ponds, and even ''source'' ponds during some years, functioned either as ''sinks'', where breeding occurred with no resulting recruitment, or were not used at all for breeding. Most recruitment occurred during four years. Recruitment was correlated with adult breeding effort, but only during some years. Recaptures were rare, and inter-pond exchange of adults was minimal and short-distance (< 130 m; 1 was 416 m). Most (83.5%) individuals captured were metamorphs, and 15.9% were > 51 mm (est. > 4 years). We conservatively estimated a 7-year lifespan. Adult ''population'' trends clearly reflected breeding effort rather than numbers per se; capture rates fluctuated dramatically among years, but showed no overall trends during the 9-year study. Our paper provides empiracle information that can be used to generate realistic metapopulation models for S. holbrookii as a tool in conservation planning.« less
  • ABSTRACT In the southeastern United States, coarse woody debris (CWD) typically harbors high densities of invertebrates. However, its importance as a foraging substrate for southeastern amphibians is relatively unknown. We examined effects of CWD manipulations on diet composition of southern toads (Bufo terrestris) in upland loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stands in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Twelve 9.3-ha plots were assigned one of the following treatments: removal- all CWD _10 cm in diameter and _60 cm long removed; downed- five-fold increase in volume of down CWD; and unmanipulated control stands. We collected southern toads _4 cm snout-vent length (SVL)more » during 14 d sampling periods in June and October 2002, June 2003 and during a 28 d sampling period in April 2003. We collected 80, 36 and 35 southern toads in control, downed and removal treatments, respectively. We found no difference in relative abundance or frequency of invertebrate groups consumed among treatments (P.0.05). Average body weight (g), SVL (cm) and stomach content weight (g wet) of individuals also were similar among treatments (P . 0.05). The role of CWD as a foraging substrate for southern toads in loblolly pine stands of the southeastern Coastal Plain may be negligible, at least in the early stages of decay.« less
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