Correlations between vernal pool phenology and a breeding population of Bufo americanus in Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Organization(s):Crestwood High School
Student(s):Ahmad Awada and Hussein Makki
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher(s):Diana Rae Johns
Report Type(s):Standard Research Report
Protocols:Air Temperature, Precipitation, Water Temperature
Date Submitted:05/02/2013
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Vernal pools are a disappearing hydrologic resource in Southeastern Michigan. As industrialization and suburbanization continue to drain and develop these important wetlands, there has been a dramatic drop in anuran and other associated wildlife populations. This research project attempted to investigate what relationships exist between various weather factors and the breeding use of a temporary wetland by the American toad, Bufo americanus. Only one remaining natural vernal pool associated with the Ecorse River Watershed was identified in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Although research continues, a strong correlation between the onset of precipitation and the breeding use of this vernal pool was noted.


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Your project was very interesting. The project looks very successful and well put. An improvement could have been to research other areas of Michigan rather than just the southeast.

Posted on 5/10/13 4:31 PM.

Wow, great project! I can tell you've put in a lot of effort and are really invested the work.

Do you have any hypotheses about why the toads respond to precipitation events? How did you estimate the number of toads chorusing? How much help did you have doing the research and writing up the report?

Excellent work!

Posted on 5/13/13 10:58 PM.

This is an impressive project well presented. Why do you think precipitation increased the number of toads observed? Also, do you have any data or observations about reproductive success of the toads in this vernal pool.

Posted on 5/22/13 4:35 PM.

In looking at your written report, the null hypothesis stated seems out of sync with your measurements and focus on the toads. Can you explain, please?

Posted on 5/22/13 4:41 PM.

Ahmad and Hussein - I am very impressed with your research! You really did a fantastic job.

I have several questions - first, how do you plan on continuing this research? It seems like you have a lot of possibilities! Have you considered looking at water quality or water temperature? Second - how do you think you can share this information with your community?

I really enjoyed learning more about your research!

Posted on 5/23/13 4:48 PM.