Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Foothill yellow-legged frog provides insight on river management

River flow fluctuations downstream of dams are often out of sync with natural flow patterns and can have significant negative effects on aquatic species, such as native frogs, according to a team of scientists from the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station, the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Berkeley.

The team examined how altered water flows caused by hydroelectric dams impact the life cycle of the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii). The frog, which lives in foothill regions from southern California to southern Oregon, completes its life cycle exclusively in riverine environments.

The species is well-adapted to predictable flow patterns that are high during the spring run-off period and low during the summer. Changes to these patterns affect the survival of eggs and tadpoles and consequently are likely to be a primary factor in limiting populations of this declining species, scientists say.

Findings from three recent research projects are published in Copeia, River Research and Applications, and Conservation Genetics. These studies revealed that R. boylii tadpoles are not strong swimmers and do not survive the high flow events that can occur during the summer months in many dammed rivers, leading to local population declines. The team tested a habitat modeling tool that is commonly used for fish, with eggs and tadpole data from R. boylii, and found that it could provide reliable predictions of habitat changes under different flow scenarios. Genetic research conducted by the team identified several isolated and unique populations at the extremes of the geographic range and also demonstrated the important role of river basins in defining relationships among populations. The combined results of this work can guide conservation planning for the species.

Managing water discharge from hydroelectric dams to mirror the environment's natural flow is ideal, but this approach may not meet the needs of human consumption and energy demands.

"To conserve riverine species, one solution may be to restore some of the key characteristics of natural flow patterns, especially the timing of high and low flow periods," says Amy Lind, wildlife biologist at the Pacific Southwest Research Station in Davis, Calif., and co-author of three recent papers on R. boylii ecology and genetics.

For more information about this research, go to a recently developed website focused on this species at:

The team's three research papers can be found at:

The Pacific Southwest Research is headquartered in Albany, Calif. The station develops and communicates science needed to sustain forest ecosystems and other benefits to society. It has laboratories and research centers in California, Hawaii and the United States-affiliated Pacific Islands. For more information, visit

Sherri Eng | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When fat cells change their colour
28.10.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Aquaculture: Clear Water Thanks to Cork
28.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>