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SFS Annual Meeting

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ASSESSING AMPHIBIANS IN A CHANGING WORLD: COMPARING ENVIRONMENTAL VARIATION OF ARTIFICIAL PONDS TO NATURAL WETLANDS IN A WARMING EXPERIMENT

The world is experiencing anthropogenically driven shifts in climate that are putting multiple pressures on many ecosystems, yet uncertainty regarding how species will respond to multiple climate pressures represents a significant knowledge gap. Experiments are often used to assess how species to respond to these pressures. However, the degree to which experimental ponds reflect environmental variation of wetlands is unclear. The primary goal of this study is to examine the developmental responses of amphibian larvae to warming temperatures and shorter hydroperiods using an experimental approach. We will use mesocosms to evaluate survivorship, body size, and rate of larval development of two anuran species. As an extension of this experiment, we will measure the differences and similarities between the mesocosm and the stream where the amphibian eggs were taken. Specifically, we will measure pH, water temperature, hydroperiod and dissolved oxygen at fixed intervals and compare them between experimental ponds and natural wetlands. This research will provide fundamental and applied insight into how experiments contribute to our understanding of amphibians in a changing world.

Meryl Mims (), Virginia Tech, mims@vt.edu;


Alexis Jackson (Primary Presenter/Author), Virginia Tech, alexisrj@vt.edu;


Elizabeth Shadle (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Virginia Tech, ejshadle@vt.edu;


Meryl Mims (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Virginia Tech, mims@vt.edu;