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Toad-ally Awesome! Investigating the Relationship Between Flooding and Toad Reproduction Along the Rio Grande

This article is from Issue Ecosystem Services - Vol. 12 No. 1.

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Most rivers in the United States are now regulated. A regulated river is one whose flow is controlled by dams. The regulation of rivers, however, alters the relationship between rivers and their floodplains.The scientists in this study were interested in studying how toads reproduce in the floodplains along the Rio Grande. 

Welcome to the Ecosystem Services edition!

Note to Educators

Ecosystem Services Lesson Plan


Word Search

Reflection Section Answer Guide

Education Standards Correlations

Additional Resources for this Article:
Meet the scientists that contributed to this article:

"Science Topics" covered in this article:
  • Life Science
  • People and Science

"Thinking About Science Themes" covered in this article:
Taking measurements is a common practice in everyday life. Most scientific experiments involve units of measurement. Units of measurement are things like inches or centimeters, miles or kilometers per hour, ounces or grams, or frequency. A scientist may want to know, for example, how many times a Screech owl visits a particular Red Oak tree during the summer. In that case, the unit of measurement is frequency. Think of three things you have measured today. As you read the “Introduction” section of the article, make a guess as to what the scientist will measure in the research. Identify what unit of measurement was used.
Specific "Thinking About Science" Themes:
  • Characteristics of Scientists
  • The Scientific Process

"Thinking About Environmental Themes" covered in this article:
Think about what it takes for you to survive everyday. Aside from food and water, humans need clothing and shelter. If adults are raising a family, they must provide for their families as well. Animals must also have certain things to survive. They need a place to live, things to eat, and a place to reproduce. The environment in which a species lives is called its habitat. In the study you are about to read, scientists wanted to learn about the best habitat for toads to reproduce. While reading the article, identify how humans impact the habitat of toads. Remember that humans have both positive and negative effects on an animal’s habitat.
Specific "Thinking About the Environment" Themes:
  • Habitat
  • Human impact on natural resources and other living things

NSE Standards covered in this article:
  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (A)
  • Nature of science (G)
  • Populations and ecosystems (C)
  • Regulation and behavior (C)
  • Risks and benefits (F)
  • Science as a human endeavor (G)
  • Structure and function in living systems (C)
  • Understandings about science and technology (E)
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry (A)