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Frog populations' breeding habitats

Research Achievements

Frog populations' breeding habitats

Trainee Jocelyn Behm with Drs. Chen Jin and Yang Xiaodong from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden is researching why frog populations do not use human-created breeding habitat in rubber plantations. Over the past 30 years, more than two-thirds of Xishuangbanna’s native rainforests on hillsides have been converted to terraced plantations of Brazilian rubber trees. The majority of frog species in Xishuangbanna breed in ephemeral rainwater puddles, yet no species breed in rubber plantation pools. Laboratory experiments revealed that tadpoles developed faster when raised in water collected from rubber plantation pools compared to tadpoles raised in well water. Field experiments showed that tadpoles relocated to and raised in rubber plantation pools had high rates of survival and completed metamorphosis. Together these results indicate that the rubber plantation pools are suitable for tadpole growth and development.