Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (0 bytes)

Title: Water velocity tolerance in tadpoles of the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii): Swimming performance, growth, and survival

Author: Kupferberg, S.; Lind, A.; Thill, V.; Yarnell, S.;

Date: 2011

Source: Copeia 2011(1):141-152

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: We explored the effects of large magnitude flow fluctuations in rivers with dams, commonly referred to as pulsed flows, on tadpoles of the lotic-breeding Foothill Yellow-legged Frog, Rana boylii. We quantified the velocity conditions in habitats occupied by tadpoles and then conducted experiments to assess the tolerance to values at the upper limit of, and outside, the natural range. In laboratory flumes and field enclosures we mimicked the velocities observed during pulsed flows. In all experimental venues, the behavioral response of tadpoles was to seek refuge in the channel substrate when velocity increased. In a large laboratory flume, tadpoles moved freely at low water velocities (0–2 cm·s-1) and then sheltered among rocks when velocity increased. In a smaller scale laboratory flume, the median critical velocity was 20.1 cm·s-1. Critical velocity varied inversely with tadpole size, developmental stage, and proportion of time spent swimming. Velocities as low as 10 cm·s-1 caused tadpoles approaching metamorphosis to be displaced. In field mesocosm experiments, tadpoles exposed to repeated sub-critical velocity stress (5–10 cm·s-1) grew significantly less and experienced greater predation than tadpoles reared at ambient velocities. Responses to velocity manipulations were consistent among tadpoles from geographically distinct populations representing the three identified clades within R. boylii. The velocities associated with negative effects in these trials are less than typical velocity increases in near shore habitats when recreational flows for white water boating or peaking releases for hydroelectric power generation occur.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Kupferberg, S.; A. Lind; V. Thill; S. Yarnell. 2011. Water velocity tolerance in tadpoles of the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii): Swimming performance, growth, and survival. Copeia 2011(1):141-152.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.