Presented by Maureen Thompson
PhD Candidate, University of NSW
Supervisors: Dr Jodi Rowley (AM, UNSW), Dr Corey T. Callaghan (UNSW), Prof Alistair Poore (UNSW)
Citizen science has proliferated in the last decade, becoming a critical form of public engagement in science and an increasingly important research tool for the study of large-scale patterns in nature. Understanding the extent to which species within a potential community positively or negatively associate with each other provides insights into biogeographical principles of species diversity, the potential impacts of climate change, and guides conservation monitoring and planning. Co-occurrence can occur in two dimensions: space and time. Historically, co-occurrence was inferred from imprecise methods, when in reality the individuals or species may have been successfully avoiding each other – meaning they were not in competition for the same resources OR facing the same risks.
Here I present patterns in spatio-temporal frog call co-occurrence across temperate New South Wales in comparison to their know occupied habitat (spatial co-occurrence) using a spatially blocked study design. This is the most comprehensive analysis of co-occurrence among frog species, based on a single empirical, crowdsourced, dataset (FrogID). Results are preliminary, but well worth a listen, given the importance of mate choice signals to evolutionary theory and how at-risk frogs (especially Australian ones) are.