Do frogs bounce, and if so, by how much? Responses to the ‘Big Wet’ following the ‘Big Dry’ in south-eastern Australia

Ralph MAC NALLY, Shana Nerenberg, Jim THOMSON, Hania Lada, Rohan H. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim We assessed the resistance and resilience of anuran amphibians to an abrupt change in weather conditions in 2010–12 (the ‘Big Wet’) following the most pronounced drought in eastern Australia’s records (1997–2010, the ‘Big Dry’). Location Five pairs of landscapes (each of 19.6 km2) spread across 30,000 km2 in temperate, inland Australia. One in each pair was eucalypt woodland while the other was cleared agricultural land; there were eight representative waterbodies in each landscape. Methods We collected data on anuran abundances, species richness and breeding by using aural surveys and visual searches. We surveyed six times during the austral winter–springs of 2006 and 2007 (the Big Dry) and six times in the corresponding seasons of 2011 and 2012 (the Big Wet); our results refer only to species breeding in the winter–spring season. Results Mean species richness, total numbers of calling males and numbers of the five most common species of anurans increased in the Big Wet compared with the Big Dry, but the least common species did not. Proportions of waterbodies with eggs or tadpoles increased in the Big Wet, but the occurrence of eggs and tadpoles was still low (evidence of presence in <50% of waterbodies). The most common species had relatively high resistance to the first 5 years of the Big Dry, but all declined sharply after a decade of drought. Four of the common species showed some resilience, but reporting rates fell much below the peak values prior to the Big Dry. There were virtually no records for seven other species that had been recorded previously in the region. Main conclusions The pressure of drying, warming climates, even when broken by shorter wet periods, seems to be sufficient to induce regional-scale declines even among species that, from global analyses of risk factors, might be expected to be relatively immune from such effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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tadpoles
frog
frogs
drought
species diversity
global warming
amphibians
woodlands
agricultural land
ears
breeding season
risk factors
weather
drying
breeding
species richness
egg
risk factor
amphibian
methodology

Cite this

@article{9112a7e3db9b42149482064b81105993,
title = "Do frogs bounce, and if so, by how much? Responses to the ‘Big Wet’ following the ‘Big Dry’ in south-eastern Australia",
abstract = "Aim We assessed the resistance and resilience of anuran amphibians to an abrupt change in weather conditions in 2010–12 (the ‘Big Wet’) following the most pronounced drought in eastern Australia’s records (1997–2010, the ‘Big Dry’). Location Five pairs of landscapes (each of 19.6 km2) spread across 30,000 km2 in temperate, inland Australia. One in each pair was eucalypt woodland while the other was cleared agricultural land; there were eight representative waterbodies in each landscape. Methods We collected data on anuran abundances, species richness and breeding by using aural surveys and visual searches. We surveyed six times during the austral winter–springs of 2006 and 2007 (the Big Dry) and six times in the corresponding seasons of 2011 and 2012 (the Big Wet); our results refer only to species breeding in the winter–spring season. Results Mean species richness, total numbers of calling males and numbers of the five most common species of anurans increased in the Big Wet compared with the Big Dry, but the least common species did not. Proportions of waterbodies with eggs or tadpoles increased in the Big Wet, but the occurrence of eggs and tadpoles was still low (evidence of presence in <50{\%} of waterbodies). The most common species had relatively high resistance to the first 5 years of the Big Dry, but all declined sharply after a decade of drought. Four of the common species showed some resilience, but reporting rates fell much below the peak values prior to the Big Dry. There were virtually no records for seven other species that had been recorded previously in the region. Main conclusions The pressure of drying, warming climates, even when broken by shorter wet periods, seems to be sufficient to induce regional-scale declines even among species that, from global analyses of risk factors, might be expected to be relatively immune from such effects.",
keywords = "Anura, climate change, climate variability, extreme events, Murray–Darling Basin, resilience, resistance.",
author = "{MAC NALLY}, Ralph and Shana Nerenberg and Jim THOMSON and Hania Lada and Clarke, {Rohan H.}",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1111/geb.12104",
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journal = "Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters",
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Do frogs bounce, and if so, by how much? Responses to the ‘Big Wet’ following the ‘Big Dry’ in south-eastern Australia. / MAC NALLY, Ralph; Nerenberg, Shana; THOMSON, Jim; Lada, Hania; Clarke, Rohan H.

In: Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 23, 2014, p. 223-234.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Do frogs bounce, and if so, by how much? Responses to the ‘Big Wet’ following the ‘Big Dry’ in south-eastern Australia

AU - MAC NALLY, Ralph

AU - Nerenberg, Shana

AU - THOMSON, Jim

AU - Lada, Hania

AU - Clarke, Rohan H.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Aim We assessed the resistance and resilience of anuran amphibians to an abrupt change in weather conditions in 2010–12 (the ‘Big Wet’) following the most pronounced drought in eastern Australia’s records (1997–2010, the ‘Big Dry’). Location Five pairs of landscapes (each of 19.6 km2) spread across 30,000 km2 in temperate, inland Australia. One in each pair was eucalypt woodland while the other was cleared agricultural land; there were eight representative waterbodies in each landscape. Methods We collected data on anuran abundances, species richness and breeding by using aural surveys and visual searches. We surveyed six times during the austral winter–springs of 2006 and 2007 (the Big Dry) and six times in the corresponding seasons of 2011 and 2012 (the Big Wet); our results refer only to species breeding in the winter–spring season. Results Mean species richness, total numbers of calling males and numbers of the five most common species of anurans increased in the Big Wet compared with the Big Dry, but the least common species did not. Proportions of waterbodies with eggs or tadpoles increased in the Big Wet, but the occurrence of eggs and tadpoles was still low (evidence of presence in <50% of waterbodies). The most common species had relatively high resistance to the first 5 years of the Big Dry, but all declined sharply after a decade of drought. Four of the common species showed some resilience, but reporting rates fell much below the peak values prior to the Big Dry. There were virtually no records for seven other species that had been recorded previously in the region. Main conclusions The pressure of drying, warming climates, even when broken by shorter wet periods, seems to be sufficient to induce regional-scale declines even among species that, from global analyses of risk factors, might be expected to be relatively immune from such effects.

AB - Aim We assessed the resistance and resilience of anuran amphibians to an abrupt change in weather conditions in 2010–12 (the ‘Big Wet’) following the most pronounced drought in eastern Australia’s records (1997–2010, the ‘Big Dry’). Location Five pairs of landscapes (each of 19.6 km2) spread across 30,000 km2 in temperate, inland Australia. One in each pair was eucalypt woodland while the other was cleared agricultural land; there were eight representative waterbodies in each landscape. Methods We collected data on anuran abundances, species richness and breeding by using aural surveys and visual searches. We surveyed six times during the austral winter–springs of 2006 and 2007 (the Big Dry) and six times in the corresponding seasons of 2011 and 2012 (the Big Wet); our results refer only to species breeding in the winter–spring season. Results Mean species richness, total numbers of calling males and numbers of the five most common species of anurans increased in the Big Wet compared with the Big Dry, but the least common species did not. Proportions of waterbodies with eggs or tadpoles increased in the Big Wet, but the occurrence of eggs and tadpoles was still low (evidence of presence in <50% of waterbodies). The most common species had relatively high resistance to the first 5 years of the Big Dry, but all declined sharply after a decade of drought. Four of the common species showed some resilience, but reporting rates fell much below the peak values prior to the Big Dry. There were virtually no records for seven other species that had been recorded previously in the region. Main conclusions The pressure of drying, warming climates, even when broken by shorter wet periods, seems to be sufficient to induce regional-scale declines even among species that, from global analyses of risk factors, might be expected to be relatively immune from such effects.

KW - Anura

KW - climate change

KW - climate variability

KW - extreme events

KW - Murray–Darling Basin

KW - resilience

KW - resistance.

U2 - 10.1111/geb.12104

DO - 10.1111/geb.12104

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 223

EP - 234

JO - Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters

JF - Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters

SN - 1466-822X

ER -