Glenn Tattersall's Laboratory Web Page, Brock University
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Thermal Imaging in Animal Physiology

Research Projects:

Long-term monitoring of Salamander Populations

Over the past few years, through summer student projects, my lab has been collecting data on the dates of first egg laying by the yellow spotted salamanders, and the results are striking.  The earliest lay date has advanced by 2-3 days every year for the past 3 years.  Combined with data from the early 1990s, it is readily evident that the earliest lay date of salamanders has been steadily, and more recently, rapidly advancing to earlier in the season.  Local weather conditions, as well as climate change seem likely explanations for the underlying changes in the breeding phenology of Bat Lake salamanders, however, we have little information on population size, operational sex ratios, and arrival and departure dates of salamanders to allow us to fully understand the proximate causes leading to these observed lay dates.  Will salamanders spend more or less time in courtship if spring temperatures warm?  Is an altered arrival time the explanation for changes in lay dates?  Is breeding recruitment affected by warming spring temperatures?

At present we are formulating questions to help generate hypotheses for future monitoring efforts.  By establishing long-term data records of the arrival times, operational breeding population, sex ratios and local geographic dynamics occurring at Bat Lake, we hope to track the potential changes that climate change is having on an important amphibian of Algonquin Park and allow for informed conservation decisions regarding the management of similar watersheds.


Wildlife Research Station

Poster Presented at Algonquin Park "Meet the Researcher Day"

Brock University, Department of Biological Sciences
MacKenzie Chown F242, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, L2S 3A1
Tel: 905-688-5550 x4815
Email: Glenn Tattersall
Updated: May 29, 2010
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