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1 December 2007 Postbreeding Habitat Use of Wood Frogs in a Missouri Oak-hickory Forest
Tracy A. G. Rittenhouse, Raymond D. Semlitsch
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Fitness benefits to individuals from using a particular habitat during the non-breeding season are likely species- and habitat-specific. Our goal was to define the postbreeding habitat use of adult Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica) within continuous oak-hickory forest in Missouri. We used radio-telemetry to determine whether adult Wood Frogs are evenly spaced throughout this forest type or clumped at a particular resource. In addition, we determined microhabitat selection using conditional logistic regression that compares the microhabitat at frog locations to paired points located 2 m from the frog. Adult frogs migrated from breeding sites located on ridgetops into ephemeral, rocky ravines. Use of drainages by Wood Frogs depended on the distance between the breeding site and drainage, and the orientation of drainages relative to the pond edge influenced whether migratory paths of frogs are funneled or spaced apart. The most supported model of microhabitat selection indicated that frogs selected locations with increased leaf litter depth and air temperature and with decreased humidity and light compared to paired points. Persistence of Wood Frog populations along the southwestern edge of their range requires successful annual migrations between breeding sites and forested drainages, which are important nonbreeding habitat for Wood Frogs in a Missouri oak-hickory forest.

Tracy A. G. Rittenhouse and Raymond D. Semlitsch "Postbreeding Habitat Use of Wood Frogs in a Missouri Oak-hickory Forest," Journal of Herpetology 41(4), 645-653, (1 December 2007).
Accepted: 1 June 2007; Published: 1 December 2007

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