Post-breeding movement and habitat use by wood frogs along an Arctic–Subarctic ecotone

Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research
By: , and 



By altering essential micro- and macrohabitat conditions for many organisms, climate change is already causing disproportionately greater impacts on Arctic and Subarctic ecosystems. Yet there is a lack of basic information about many species in northern latitudes, including amphibians. We used radio telemetry to study the post-breeding movements and habitat use of wood frogs (Rana [=Lithobatessylvatica) in the Hudson Bay Lowlands near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. We tracked fifty-seven frogs (thirty-five males, twenty-two females; mean duration = 16.8 d) from three wetlands during the summers of 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 at the landscape scale, movement distances increased with temperature, and all frogs spent more time in the tundra habitat than in boreal forests, 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.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Post-breeding movement and habitat use by wood frogs along an Arctic–Subarctic ecotone
Series title Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research
DOI 10.1080/15230430.2018.1487657
Volume 50
Issue 1
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description e1487657, 9 p.
Country Canada
State Manitoba
Other Geospatial Hudson Bay Lowlands
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