Using Physiological Conditions To Assess Current And Future Wood Frog (Rana Sylvatica) Habitat Use In The Subarctic

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Thomas Patrick Hastings (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Jon M. Davenport

Abstract: Arctic regions are experiencing the disproportionate impacts of climate change. Animals that are dependent on the environment to meet physiological requirements are highly susceptible to changing conditions. Rana sylvatica (wood frogs) must use habitats that balance thermal and hydric physiological requirements. I investigated how environmental conditions and habitat characteristics influence wood frog physiology and habitat use near Churchill, Manitoba. I used validated plaster models to estimate water balance and body temperature throughout the Subarctic. I found that water loss rates were greater in the tundra than in the boreal forest and ecotone macrohabitat types. Wood frogs are more likely to use microhabitat locations where there is decreased water loss rates and increased surface moisture. Frogs are also more likely to frequent locations with increased cover from vegetation and decreased exposure to harmful environmental conditions. I also found that physiological conditions can be predicted by using measured environmental conditions. Maintaining water balance is important for frogs in Subarctic landscapes. However, maintaining physiological conditions may be particularly challenging for amphibians found in extreme environments that are vulnerable to future climate change. Predictions of physiological conditions can help us understand how these Arctic and Subarctic amphibians will respond to changes in habitat suitability.

Additional Information

Hastings, T. (2020). Using Physiological Conditions To Assess Current And Future Wood Frog (Rana Sylvatica) Habitat Use In The Subarctic. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
Subarctic, physiology, climate change, habitat use, wood frog

Email this document to