Journal article

Asplenium bird's nest ferns in rainforest canopies are climate-contingent refuges for frogs

Brett R Scheffers, Ben L Phillips, Luke P Shoo



Epiphytes are important for canopy dwelling organisms because they provide a cool and moist microhabitat in the relatively hot and dry canopy. Here we examine whether epiphytic Asplenium ferns act as important habitats for arboreal frogs. We conducted extensive fern and habitat surveys for frogs in the Philippines, and complimented these surveys with roaming day and night canopy surveys to identify the full extent of habitat use across the vertical strata. We artificially dried ferns of various sizes to identify relationships between water and temperature buffering. Ferns are the preferred diurnal microhabitat and breeding habitat for arboreal frogs. A strong positive relationship exists bet..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank the local community of Mt. Banahaw for supporting our research and Rafe, Warren, P.A. Buenavente, A. Barnuevo, B. Brunner, S. Ramirez, R. Willis, and M. Wise for assistance in the field. We thank A. Diesmos from the National Museum of the Philippines for support. We thank R. Brown, E. Carlos, JBC Harris, and S. Williams for comments and discussion throughout the development of this manuscript. Support was provided by the Singapore International Graduate Award, Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund, Australian Government National Environment Research Program, and the National Environmental Research Program (Tropical Ecosystems HUB, Project 3.1-Rainforest Biodiversity). Research permits were provided by PAWP-DENR and the local government unit of the Municipality of Majajay to the National Museum of the Philippines (by virtue of Republic Act 10066, "National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009''). All procedures were approved by the National University of Singapore's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) (protocol # B01/10).