How fast do amphibians disperse? Introductions, distribution and dispersal of the common frog Rana temporaria and the common toad Bufo bufo on a coastal island in Central Norway

Dag Dolmen, Jan Seland

Abstract


The common frog (Rana temporaria) and the common toad (Bufo bufo) were introduced successfully to the coastal island of Frøya in Central Norway several times during 1960–2012. There is still a very high degree of conformity between sites where they were introduced and the present distribution of the two species. However, in western Frøya, a release of frogs about 1996 was followed by a quick expansion of their distribution area; in 2012 and 2013, breeding was registered close to 7 km westwards and eastwards, respectively, i.e. a population dispersal speed of approximately 0.4 km/yr. On eastern Frøya and some small islands in the archipelago, area expansions at another four frog localities have been prevented by ecological barriers like unfavourable limnetic or terrestrial habitats or salty water. Two local common toad populations on eastern Frøya do not show any expansion either. However, an apparently isolated record of the species on western Frøya in 2011 can possibly be explained by the expansion westwards of a population in northern central Frøya, where toads were introduced around 1995. This stretch is about 9.9 km, i.e. an average population dispersal speed of 0.6 km/yr.


Keywords


islands, introductions, dispersal, Amphibia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5324/fn.v36i0.1965



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