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Data from: Fitter frogs from polluted ponds: the complex impacts of human-altered environments

Citation

Brady, Steven P. et al. (2018), Data from: Fitter frogs from polluted ponds: the complex impacts of human-altered environments, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2v41qr7

Abstract

Human-modified habitats rarely yield outcomes that are aligned with conservation ideals. Landscapes that are subdivided by roads are no exception, precipitating negative impacts on populations due to fragmentation, pollution, and road kill. Although many populations in human modified habitats show evidence for local adaptation, rarely does environmental change yield outright benefits for populations of conservation interest. Contrary to expectations, we report surprising benefits experienced by amphibian populations breeding and dwelling in proximity to roads. We show that roadside populations of the wood frog, Rana sylvatica, exhibit better locomotor performance and higher measures of traits related to fitness compared with frogs from less disturbed environments located further away from roads. These results contrast previous evidence for maladaptation in roadside populations of wood frogs studied elsewhere. Our results indicate that altered habitats might not be unequivocally detrimental, and at times might contribute to metapopulation success. While the frequency of such beneficial outcomes remains unknown, their occurrence underscores the complexity of inferring consequences of environmental change.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1655092