EPA Science Inventory

EVIDENCE OF PHYLOGENETICALLY DISTINCT LEOPARD FROGS (RANA ONCA) FROM THE BORDER REGION OF NEVADA, UTAH, AND ARIZONA

Citation:

Jaeger, J. R., B. R. Riddle, R. D. Jennings, AND D. F. Bradford. EVIDENCE OF PHYLOGENETICALLY DISTINCT LEOPARD FROGS (RANA ONCA) FROM THE BORDER REGION OF NEVADA, UTAH, AND ARIZONA. COPEIA 2(1):339-354, (2001).

Description:

Remnant populations of leopard frogs within the Virgin River drainage and adjacent portions of the Colorado River (Black Canyon) in northwestern Arizona and southern Nevada either represent the reportedly extinct taxon Rana onca or northern, disjunct Rana yavapaiensis. To determine the evolutionary distinctiveness of these leopard frogs, we evaluated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction site variation (RFLP), mtDNA control region sequences, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers, and morphological characters. Individuals from the Virgin River drainage and Black Canyon represented a single RFLP haplotype and were identical for nucleotides along a portion of control region sequence. Evaluations of RAPD data demonstrated high levels of similarity among individuals and populations from this region. Leopard frogs from the Virgin River drainage and Black Canyon differed from R yavapaiensis from west-central Arizona and northern Mexico in maximum parsimony and distance analyses of RFLP and control region sequence data and in maximum-likelihood analysis of the sequence data. Multidimensional scaling of RAPD data provided a similar and congruent indication of this separation. Analysis of principal component scores demonstrated significant morphological differentiation between leopard frog specimens from the Virgin River drainage and R- yavapaiensis. Parallel patterns of divergence observed in the mtDNA, RAPD, and morphological analyses indicate that leopard frogs from the V'irgin River drainage and adjacent portions of the Colorado River are phylogeneticallyy distinct. These leopard frogs should be recognized as a lineage separate from southern populations of R. yavapaiensis and classified as the species R onca.

Purpose/Objective:

The primary objectives of this research are to:

Develop methodologies so that landscape indicator values generated from different sensors on different dates (but in the same areas) are comparable; differences in metric values result from landscape changes and not differences in the sensors;

Quantify relationships between landscape metrics generated from wall-to-wall spatial data and (1) specific parameters related to water resource conditions in different environmental settings across the US, including but not limited to nutrients, sediment, and benthic communities, and (2) multi-species habitat suitability;

Develop and validate multivariate models based on quantification studies;

Develop GIS/model assessment protocols and tools to characterize risk of nutrient and sediment TMDL exceedence;

Complete an initial draft (potentially web based) of a national landscape condition assessment.

This research directly supports long-term goals established in ORDs multiyear plans related to GPRA Goal 2 (Water) and GPRA Goal 4 (Healthy Communities and Ecosystems), although funding for this task comes from Goal 4. Relative to the GRPA Goal 2 multiyear plan, this research is intended to "provide tools to assess and diagnose impairment in aquatic systems and the sources of associated stressors." Relative to the Goal 4 Multiyear Plan this research is intended to (1) provide states and tribes with an ability to assess the condition of waterbodies in a scientifically defensible and representative way, while allowing for aggregation and assessment of trends at multiple scales, (2) assist Federal, State and Local managers in diagnosing the probable cause and forecasting future conditions in a scientifically defensible manner to protect and restore ecosystems, and (3) provide Federal, State and Local managers with a scientifically defensible way to assess current and future ecological conditions, and probable causes of impairments, and a way to evaluate alternative future management scenarios.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 07/17/2001
Completion Date: 07/17/2001
Record Last Revised: 12/22/2005
Record Created: 09/26/2003
Record Released: 09/26/2003
Record ID: 65621

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION

LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH