Thursday, April 25, 2019

Frogs can be heroes or villains in the rice ecosystem, a new study revealed

Molly Shuman-Goodier, lead researcher, recently earned her PhD at the Northern Arizona State University. Grant Singleton, IRRI’s Principal Scientist and CORIGAP project leader, served as one of her supervisors

In a recent study published in the internationally renowned journal Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment, researchers from the Northern Arizona University, the International Rice Research Institute, and the University of Greenwich investigated the functional roles of frogs in the rice ecosystem. The research was conducted on the Zeigler Experiment Station at IRRI, and led by Molly Shuman-Goodier a PhD student who graduated from Northern Arizona University  in April 2019.

A field survey was conducted in two separate rainy seasons of 2015 and 2017 to determine whether the endemic native Luzon wart frogs (Fejevarya vittigera) and non-native cane toads (Rhinella marina) consume rice pests and which is more effective in doing so.  The diet composition of the two species was also examined to determine how these two species compete for food resources in the rice fields. 

Researchers found that while both species consume a diverse array of prey, the Luzon wart frogs tend to consume more rice pests while the invasive cane toads consumed more beneficial insects.  This indicates that the Luzon wart frogs may provide effective pest services, without directly competing with adult cane toads over food resources in rice fields.   

This study provides the first evidence that suggests that non-native cane toads may provide a negative ecosystem service in the rice field by consuming beneficial predators that have an important role in the rice ecosystem. The researchers suggest that the native frog species should be managed well in order to safeguard native biodiversity while improving yields and reducing insecticide use. 

The study was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation through the CORIGAP project. Ms. Goodier received technical guidance and funding support from Dr. Grant Singleton, IRRI scientist and project coordinator of CORIGAP.

Click here to learn more about the research.

Click here to know more about Luzon wart frog,  cane toad and other frog species in the IRRI rice fields.

Learn more about IRRI ( or follow us on social media and networks (all links down the right column).

No comments:

Post a Comment