The impact of Hurricane Hugo on forest frogs in Puerto Rico

TitleThe impact of Hurricane Hugo on forest frogs in Puerto Rico
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsWoolbright, LL
Accession NumberLUQ.754
Keywordsdisturbance, Eleutherodactylidae, eleutherodactylus, hurricane, Hurricane Hugo, Luquillo experimental forest, Puerto Rico, tree frog

Hurricane Hugo caused extensive damaged to the Luquillo Experimental Forest in September 1989. Individually marked Eleutherodactylus coqui were monitored in two study plots from January 1987 through October 1990. Survivorship estimates of adults for the period including the storm were within the normal range from previous years. Juveniles suffered severe reductions, primarily among the smaller size classes. By October 1990 adult population density had increased fourfold over the pre-hurricane levels, although adults were smaller. Juvenile members also appeared to be increasing, but had not yet reached pre-hurricane densities. The rapid increase in density may have resulted from increase in retreat sites and a decrease in invertebrate predators. Auditory censuses suggested that density changes from other species ranged from a 14 percent increase for the relatively common E. hedricki to an 83 percent decrease for the relatively rare E. richmondi.