Riparian Zone Retreat and population studies Kristen Bates, Honors Biology 2, Period 5.
Rana Clamitan: Green Frog
Niche of the Green Frog: Rana Clamitan
Habitat: Small ponds, marshes, swamps, the border of lakes, small streams and large rivers.
Diet: Green frogs are primarily carnivores. They eat insects and other invertebrates such as slugs, snails, crayfish, spiders, flies, caterpillars, butterflies and moths. They also eat small snakes and other frogs.
Green frogs are abundant and common and serve has a food source for many animals but they also eat large quantities of insects and other animals
Green frogs practice the “sit and wait” hunting tactic, so they therefore eat what comes into reach.
Tadpoles eat primarily diatoms, algae and tiny amounts of zooplankton.
Factors which Affect Birth Rate of Assigned Animal
Green frogs breed in late spring, but variations in temperature can influence the actual breeding time. The breeding period is from 1 to 3 months long
They can reproduce up to two times each breeding period, the second time produces significantly less eggs though
The gestation period is 3-5 days
1,000 – 5,000 offspring each time
The female green frog nurtures her offspring inside her body before they are laid, and after that there is no further parental involvement in their development
After the mating has occurred and the female nurtures her offspring, the eggs are laid and hatch within 3-7 days and complete the tadpole stages of development in 3-22 months
Factors Which Affect the Death Rate of Assigned Animal
Predators to the green frog consist of leeches, fish, turtles, snakes, larger frogs, raccoons and humans.
Green frogs resemble the mink frog. The mink frog has a skin secretion that makes them foul tasting to predators. However, green frogs do not have a foul taste so there is a form of mimicry.
The exact life span is not known but it is estimated to be around 6 years, in captivity they can live up until 10 years.
Describe how over-population affects your animal.
For humans there is no negative side effect known for there being too many green frogs
Green frogs are used for educational purposes in biology classes
Food Chain of the Green Frog The producer, which is an autotroph could be the plants that grow around ponds and marshy areas. The plants that grow are consumed by caterpillars and other insects. These insects are the primary consumer and are omnivores. The green frog, which is the secondary consumer, eats the insects that consume the plants and is primarily a carnivore. Hawks are omnivores and are considered the tertiary consumer because they consume the green frog. Producer Autotroph Primary Consumer Omnivore Secondary Consumer Carnivore Tertiary Consumer Omnivore
Food web of Assigned Organism Herbivore Producer Omnivore Carnivore Carnivore Producer Carnivore Herbivore Herbivore Omnivore Producer Food Web
Population Sampling Techniques
Different sampling techniques include: capturing and tagging animals
One form of sampling green frogs is to capture a random amount of frogs from their natural habitats within a certain distance of each other. Then the frogs are kept in containers in ice water. The frogs are frozen and then the information is recorded. Studies like this are used to make a generalization of the entire green frog population.
Green frogs are not an endangered species. They are abundant in all the regions they populate in the United States
Stream Quality Data & Analysis
The stream represented in the graph is a very healthy stream.
The organisms in Class I are pollution intolerant and can only survive in a healthy environment. Bigger amounts of these animals indicate healthy stream conditions.
Class II organisms are somewhat tolerant to water pollution. They can exist in a variety of qualities so it is hard to judge a steam by the amount of these organisms found.
Class III organisms are usually tolerant of pollution. If there are large amounts of these organisms found it means that the water quality is poor.
The Green Frog eats the other organisms that are present for survival. If there aren’t plenty of the organisms the frog will eventually starve and die out.
The Green Frog usually lives in more marsh like areas and not streams, but for example, the green frog eats dragonflies and if they dragonfly larvae didn’t exist in the stream because of the water level the Green Frog would lose some of it’s nutrition.
Stream Quality Data & Analysis Continued…
Water Testing Data & Analysis
Every plant and organism has a preferred level of PH because it controls how well they utilize the nutrients available. Having a high dissolved oxygen level is important for the organisms to survive. A healthy stream should have a lower nitrate level and should have no phosphates. However a little bit is not going to destroy the stream.
The ideal levels for Powdermill Run are as follows
PH = 7, Nitrate = 0, Phosphate = 0, and dissolved oxygen = 8.8. If the numbers are much greater or much lower it is not healthy for the stream and all organisms could die.
My organism lives in marshy areas, if the levels changed drastically either positive or negative my organism would die because it lives in the water.
Turbidity affects the ecosystem because unclear water can interfere with photosynthesis, predator-prey relationships, etc. The temperature regulates the stream and helps ensure survival.
Soil Testing & Analysis
pH is important because plants need the correct pH to effectively utilize the nutrients available in the soil.
Nitrogen is important because it is essential to proper functioning of plant metabolism.
Phosphorus is important because it enables plants to mature effectively and encourages blooming and seed formation.
Potash stimulates flowering and is needed in photosynthesis to make sugars.
Soil Testing & Analysis
The ideal ranges in the soil are:
Very high: 20
Medium High: 12
If the chemical levels are out of the ideal range than the plants won’t mature and grow properly .
Positive and Negative Factors
The conditions of the current stream would benefit my organism as well as the conditions of the marsh. The acid mine water would negatively impact my organism and it wouldn’t survive.
The soil conditions of the riparian zone would positively impact my organism and it would help it to survive.
The riparian zone can be positively affected by proper care of farm crops and being consciousness about what you put in water ways. The reverse can happen if you don’t take proper care of farm crops and are excessive with chemicals. The two most common sources of stream pollution are acid mine drainage and farm land runoff.
I learned that you can tell the conditions of a stream by the organisms that inhabit it. For example, if there is an ample amount of the Class I organisms it generally means that the stream is healthy and in good condition.
I thought it was interesting to learn about the Green Frog and it’s importance in the ecosystem and what makes frogs unique animals.
An environmental topic I might want to further research is Abandoned Mine Drainage and it’s affects on the ecosystem.
Gillilland, M. 2000. "Rana clamitans" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 11, 2010 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Rana_clamitans.html.
Tyning, T. 1990. Stokes Nature Guides: A guide to Amphibians and Reptiles . Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company.
Salthe, Stanley N. "Frog." Encyclopedia Americana . 2010. Grolier Online. 11 May. 2010 <http://ea.grolier.com/article?id=0167550-00>.