Data from: Variation in thermal niche of a declining river-breeding frog: from counter-gradient responses to population distribution patterns

Catenazzi A, Kupferberg SJ

Date Published: May 9, 2017



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Title Thermal preference (Tsel) data
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Description Thermal preference (Tsel) data. We conducted three trials (each trial corresponds to a tab in the spreadsheet): (1) a single population source (full-sibling set) of tadpoles reared under different thermal regimes in four streams of the coastal SF Eel catchment (see article); (2) wild collected tadpoles from populations at thermal monitoring stations that represent three distinct clades within the species (Lind, Spinks, Fellers, & Shaffer, 2010) and three of the four niche clusters (SF Eel, Alameda Ck and NF Feather; see article); and (3) multiple population sources of tadpoles reared in a common thermal environment, the outdoor stream mesocosm experiment described in the article.
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Title Environmental monitoring data and frog abundance
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Description We calculated M30DAT for each river as the running mean of consecutive water temperature measurements from the previous 30 days for each day between May and October, averaging 2009, a cool year, and 2010, a warm year. We determined the temperature over the warmest 30 days of the summer, a period that coincides with rapid growth and development of tadpoles. We assessed water temperature from spring to autumn of 2009 and 2010 in 12 northern California river systems, pairing drainages affected by dams with drainages lacking dams (See in Article: Figure 1, and Appendices S1 and S2 in Supporting Information). Each pair was in the same catchment, having similar geomorphology and habitats. We positioned data loggers (Thermocron iButtons DS1921G, 0.5°C accuracy, recording every 2 hr), in typical egg and tadpole habitats (Figure S2 in article). We obtained additional water temperature data collected by dam operators in our six catchments (Placer County Water Agency, Pacific Gas & Electric, and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission) for 63 monitoring stations, of which 51 were used by frogs for reproduction and comprise the sample size of our analyses. We characterised physical habitat of occupied sites by performing Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the following variables at each monitoring station: mean of M30DAT for 2009 and 2010 (see above), mean annual discharge over the full period of record for the nearest stream gauge (United States Geological Survey,, elevation, and catchment area upstream of the station. Variables were scaled prior to PCA on a correlation matrix. Following PCA, we extracted the first two principal components, which accounted for 73% of the total variance.Discharge and drainage area loaded strongly on PC1, whereas M30DAT and elevation loaded strongly on PC2 (Table S2). We used k-means clustering of PC1 and PC2 to delineate the riverine environments occupied by breeding frogs. We examined scatter plots of PC1 versus PC2 using k = 4 and delineated distinct clusters of sites.Data on frog abundance refer to number of clutches per km of river reach. We conducted surveys of frog reproduction by searching for clutches of eggs which females attach to rocks in shallow water. Rana boylii has a lek mating system in which frogs congregate and oviposit at areas of coarse sediment deposition in a river, such as lateral cobble bars (Kupferberg, 1996). By searching several riffle pool sequences, approximately 500 m upstream and downstream of the water temperature monitoring stations, we covered multiple depositional environments where leks might occur. We repeated visits (≥29) throughout the breeding season to ensure high detectability of clutches and followed an established protocol (Kupferberg et al., 2012) searching both banks and marking clutches to prevent double counting. We standardised clutch abundance by the linear distance searched. Survey periods varied among rivers because frogs breed earlier in the spring (March–May) in coastal rain-driven systems, and later (May–June) in the inland rivers at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains (henceforth, inland rivers), which receive rain and snowmelt.
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Title Tadpole growth performance data
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Description We measured tadpoles’ growth in response to temperature conditions in a complementary set of manipulations conducted in three different experiments. First (Field Enclosures tab), within one catchment we translocated embryos from one source and reared them to metamorphosis in multiple streams with disparate thermal regimes (same experiment as Tsel Trial 1). Second (Common Garden Growth Chambers tab), we reared embryos from different catchments under controlled thermal conditions in the laboratory, and third (Common Garden tab), we used outdoor stream mesocosms to create a common-garden environment (corresponding to Tsel Trial 3). For the Field Enclosures experiment, in 2008 and repeated in 2009, we raised full-sibling tadpoles from shortly after fertilisation until front limb emergence in flowthrough stream enclosures placed in six locations in the catchment of the South Fork Eel River hereafter SF Eel, Appendix S2 in article). Details of animal husbandry methods are in Appendix S3 of article. For each replicate we measured body length and mass of tadpoles weekly and calculated the mean growth rate of all tadpoles in the enclosure (mg/day and mm/day). We used least squares linear regression to relate growth and size at metamorphosis to M30DAT. For the Common Garden Growth Chambers, we collected embryos from three of the coastal study rivers (two with dams) and four of the inland rivers (two with dams) from April to June 2010 (Table S1 of article). We transported embryos in chilled aerated river water to the laboratory and within 8 hr of collection placed them into temperature-controlled diurnal growth chambers (cycle set to 14.5 hr light and warm, 9.5 hr dark and cool). After hatching, we randomly chose five tadpoles from each clutch and placed them in 3.8-L aquaria with an aerated mixture of river water and de-chlorinated tap water (changed 29/week). To mimic warm summer conditions at locations with robust populations of frogs, one chamber was set at 18°C during the dark cycle, and 22°C during the light cycle. Daily mean temperature, calculated from 3 i-Button data loggers placed in randomly selected aquaria, was 19.5°C. To mimic conditions of the coolest occupied sites, the other incubator was set at 13°C dark cycle, 19°C light cycle, with a daily mean = 16.6°C. Each chamber held 35 aquaria (4–6 replicate clutches 9 7 rivers). We measured body and total length of tadpoles with calipers to the nearest 0.1 mm at weekly intervals after hatching. The response variable was body growth, mm/day. For the Common Garden experiment, we collected embryos in late May and early June 2010 from four rivers, and placed them in outdoor mesocosms at the University of California’s Richmond Field Station (37.913536°N, -122.333303°W). We captured tadpoles in four rivers: a coastal unregulated (South Fork Eel), a coastal regulated (Eel below Scott Dam), an inland unregulated (Middle Fork Feather) and an inland regulated (North Fork Feather). At each river, we obtained embryos from three different egg masses; furthermore, at the North Fork Feather we collected from two reaches (below the Cresta and Poe dams). After transferring embryos to Richmond and rearing them to tadpole stage, we placed 10 tadpoles in separate mesocosms consisting of re-circulating troughs (total of 15 troughs, 3 for each river except for the North Fork Feather which had 6 troughs). We mounted PVC pipe cut in half (2.2 m 9 15.3 cm diameter) on saw horses at a slight incline so water drained into a 946 L reservoir. Pumps and hoses continuously re-circulated water to the top of each trough lined with periphyton covered river rocks and loose algae. Tadpoles were reared indoors at 18°C until stage Gosner stage 25, and placed in the troughs on 21 July 2010. We measured and staged tadpoles weekly until front limb emergence (Gosner stage 42). We calculated a mean growth rate for each trough (mm of body length increase/day).
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When using this data, please cite the original publication:

Catenazzi A, Kupferberg SJ (2017) Variation in thermal niche of a declining river-breeding frog: From counter-gradient responses to population distribution patterns. Freshwater Biology 62(7): 1255-1265.

Additionally, please cite the Dryad data package:

Catenazzi A, Kupferberg SJ (2017) Data from: Variation in thermal niche of a declining river-breeding frog: from counter-gradient responses to population distribution patterns. Dryad Digital Repository.
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