This Thursday, Hayley Roberts will be giving a talk titled:
Understanding Reproductive Phenology in Temperate Frogs
at 12:30 in the EEB lounge (BioSciences 4338)
The seminar is hosted by the Lougheed Lab
Phenology is an important facet of organismal response to environmental variation, both in terms of seasonality and, over the longer term, climate change. Breeding phenology, the focus of my MSc. thesis, has obvious implications for local adaptation and population persistence. Despite its importance, many aspects of breeding phenology are poorly known in many temperate frogs. My EEB talk focuses on my research into two different aspects of temperate frog phenology at the Queen’s University Biological Station. I first look at differences in within-season temporal trends and abundance between male and female Gray Treefrogs (Hyla versicolor). I predicted asynchronous chorus attendance, with males arriving first and showing peak numbers early but with a sustained chorus, followed by female arrival and quick diminution in numbers after breeding. In contrast to my predictions, I found that the sexes have synchronous peaks and similar patterns of chorus attendance. My second goal is to quantify temporal trends in male size for three temperate frog species, two hylids: Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer), Gray Treefrog (H. versicolor), and one ranid species, the Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans). Green Frogs are primarily territorial while the two hylid species are not reported to be. In addition, production of advertisement calls is thought to be energetically costly for all species, with larger males apparently better able to bear this cost than small ones. These observations have ramifications for expected size distributions of males throughout the breeding season, which I will also explore in my talk. My research highlights the importance of detailed studies of phenology both to increase our understanding of mating systems and how individual populations might vary in response to environmental change.
Hayley is an MSc student in the Lougheed lab.