Geographic Variation in Wood Frogs

Project Overview
Research Core Areas: 
Project Abstract: 
I will test whether Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica) populations exhibit latitudinal variation in responses to photoperiod and temperature. The results of this study will provide information on how amphibians are likely to respond to climate change. While this project should result in stand-alone publications, I also expect that this project will provide initial data for proposals to the NSF to extend the research. To conduct the research, I will collect wood frog eggs from six populations distributed from North Carolina to Michigan; one population would be from the University of Michigan Biology Station. I will raise the eggs in temperature-controlled animal rooms in my laboratory at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio. Larvae will be raised in two environments: long-photoperiod (13.5 hours light per day) vs. short-photoperiod (11.5 hours light per day). The long-photoperiod mimics the situation where frogs breed late in the year, and the short photoperiod mimics situations where amphibians breed early in the year. I will test the hypothesis that wood frogs from high-latitude populations, which have a shorter annual growing season, will respond more strongly to photoperiod treatments than low-elevation populations. After metamorphosis, juvenile wood frogs from each population will be raised at different temperatures, and their growth rates will be measured. I will test the hypothesis that the optimal temperature for growth will be higher in wood frogs from southern populations, and lower for wood frogs from northern populations.
Investigator Info
Funding agency: 
CWRU Sabbatical Leave Grant
Years research project active: 
2019