skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Lowe, Winsor H."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Changes in the amount, intensity, and timing of precipitation are increasing hydrologic variability in many regions, but we have little understanding of how these changes are affecting freshwater species. Stream-breeding amphibians—a diverse group in North America—may be particularly sensitive to hydrologic variability during aquatic larval and metamorphic stages. Here, we tested the prediction that hydrologic variability in streams decreases survival through metamorphosis in the salamander Gyrinophilus porphyriticus , reducing recruitment to the adult stage. Using a 20-y dataset from Merrill Brook, a stream in northern New Hampshire, we show that abundance of G. porphyriticus adults has declined by ∼50% since 1999, but there has been no trend in larval abundance. We then tested whether hydrologic variability during summers influences survival through metamorphosis, using capture–mark–recapture data from Merrill Brook (1999 to 2004) and from 4 streams in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (2012 to 2014), also in New Hampshire. At both sites, survival through metamorphosis declined with increasing variability of stream discharge. These results suggest that hydrologic variability reduces the demographic resilience and adaptive capacity of G. porphyriticus populations by decreasing recruitment of breeding adults. They also provide insight on how increasing hydrologic variability is affecting freshwater species, and on themore »broader effects of environmental variability on species with vulnerable metamorphic stages.« less
  2. Sex-related differences in mortality are widespread in the animal kingdom. Although studies have shown that sex determination systems might drive lifespan evolution, sex chromosome influence on aging rates have not been investigated so far, likely due to an apparent lack of demographic data from clades including both XY (with heterogametic males) and ZW (heterogametic females) systems. Taking advantage of a unique collection of capture–recapture datasets in amphibians, a vertebrate group where XY and ZW systems have repeatedly evolved over the past 200 million years, we examined whether sex heterogamy can predict sex differences in aging rates and lifespans. We showed that the strength and direction of sex differences in aging rates (and not lifespan) differ between XY and ZW systems. Sex-specific variation in aging rates was moderate within each system, but aging rates tended to be consistently higher in the heterogametic sex. This led to small but detectable effects of sex chromosome system on sex differences in aging rates in our models. Although preliminary, our results suggest that exposed recessive deleterious mutations on the X/Z chromosome (the “unguarded X/Z effect”) or repeat-rich Y/W chromosome (the “toxic Y/W effect”) could accelerate aging in the heterogametic sex in some vertebrate clades.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 8, 2022