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Longevity and population age structure of the arroyo southwestern toad (Anaxyrus californicus ) with drought implications

Overview of attention for article published in Ecology and Evolution, May 2018
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Title
Longevity and population age structure of the arroyo southwestern toad (Anaxyrus californicus ) with drought implications
Published in
Ecology and Evolution, May 2018
DOI 10.1002/ece3.4158
Pubmed ID
Authors

Robert N. Fisher, Cheryl S. Brehme, Stacie A. Hathaway, Tim E. Hovey, Manna L. Warburton, Drew C. Stokes

Abstract

The arroyo southwestern toad is a specialized and federally endangered amphibian endemic to the coastal plains and mountains of central and southern California and northwestern Baja California. It is largely unknown how long these toads live in natural systems, how their population demographics vary across occupied drainages, and how hydrology affects age structure. We used skeletochronology to estimate the ages of adult arroyo toads in seven occupied drainages with varying surface water hydrology in southern California. We processed 179 adult toads with age estimates between 1 and 6 years. Comparisons between skeletochronological ages and known ages of PIT tagged toads showed that skeletochronology likely underestimated toad age by up to 2 years, indicating they may live to 7 or 8 years, but nonetheless major patterns were evident. Arroyo toads showed sexual size dimorphism with adult females reaching a maximum size of 12 mm greater than males. Population age structure varied among the sites. Age structure at sites with seasonally predictable surface water was biased toward younger individuals, which indicated stable recruitment for these populations. Age structures at the ephemeral sites were biased toward older individuals with cohorts roughly corresponding to higher rainfall years. These populations are driven by surface water availability, a stochastic process, and thus more unstable. Based on our estimates of toad ages, climate predictions of extreme and prolonged drought events could mean that the number of consecutive dry years could surpass the maximum life span of toads making them vulnerable to extirpation, especially in ephemeral freshwater systems. Understanding the relationship between population demographics and hydrology is essential for predicting species resilience to projected changes in weather and rainfall patterns. The arroyo toad serves as a model for understanding potential responses to climatic and hydrologic changes in Mediterranean stream systems. We recommend development of adaptive management strategies to address these threats.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 9 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 9 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 4 44%
Student > Ph. D. Student 1 11%
Student > Master 1 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 1 11%
Professor 1 11%
Other 1 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Environmental Science 4 44%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 3 33%
Unspecified 2 22%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 02 July 2018.
All research outputs
#10,952,996
of 12,359,775 outputs
Outputs from Ecology and Evolution
#3,069
of 3,349 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#225,018
of 266,494 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Ecology and Evolution
#179
of 198 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,359,775 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 1st percentile – i.e., 1% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
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We're also able to compare this research output to 198 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 1st percentile – i.e., 1% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.