Reduced Fecundity in Wood Frogs due to Warmer Winters

by Anna Alquitela

From 2006 to 2012, Michael Benard conducted research at a field station in southeastern Michigan where he used drift fences and pitfall traps to capture both adult and metamorphosing wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) at six wetlands (Benard 2014). Benard’s goal was to determine if a relationship exists between date of breeding and winter temperature and precipitation, and between the female reproductive rate (fecundity) and winter temperature and precipitation. Using these data, he was also able to discern if breeding dates affect changes in metamorphosis timing, length of the larval period, weight at metamorphosis, and larval survival. Continue reading

Comparing the Near-Future Effect of Temperature and Acidification on Early Life History Stages of Corals

by Dawn Barlow

Both ocean temperatures and pH are projected to increase due to climate change in the near future—it is predicted that temperatures will be raised by 2°C and that acidity will increase by ~0.2 pH units by the end of the century. While much investigation has been done on the effects of temperature and acidity on the ability of adult corals to form the structure necessary to maintain the integrity of the reef, Chua et al. (2013) investigated the direct effects of increased temperature and acidity on the early life history stages of corals. They looked at fertilization, development, survivorship, and metamorphosis of coral larvae under control conditions as well as under elevated temperature and acidity, both separately and in combination. When the two factors were combined, the results were inconsistent. Overall, the conclusion drawn from this study was that acidification alone is unlikely to be a direct threat to early life history stages of corals, at least in the near future. Increasing temperature, on the other hand, was found to increase the rate of larval development and thereby affect coral population dynamics by changing patterns of connectivity. Continue reading