Anuran population dynamics are closely linked to hydrologic change, in other words the water quality and quantity. Hydrology is a primary environmental factor in wetland habitats and strongly influences the occurrence of amphibians across the landscape. Not only are they valuable indicators to ecosystem health, but they also serve as a vital link in the food chain for many higher level species such as the endangered woodstork.
Biologists focused on the Picayune Strand State Forest and adjacent conservation lands. Sixty sites were chosen at locations where the highest percent of hydrologic change was expected to be seen due to the restoration.
Automated recorders were placed at these sites and programmed to record on a nightly schedule in order to best encounter calling male frogs and toads. Each species produces a unique vocalization that can be later identified when recordings are reviewed in the lab.
This helps researchers to identify which species are being positively or negatively affected by the hydrologic change in the area. It can also give information regarding the movements of exotic species and their tolerance of hydrologic change.
Waddle, J.H., R.M. Dorazio, S.C. Walls, K.G. Rice, J. Beauchamp, M. Schuman and F.J. Mazzotti. 2010. A new parameterization for estimating co-occurrence of interacting species. Ecological Applications 20:1467-1475.
Walls, S.C., J.H. Waddle, W.J. Barichivich, I.A. Bartoszek, M.E. Brown, J.M. Hefner, and M.J. Schuman. 2014. Anuran site occupancy and species richness as tools for evaluating restoration of a hydrologically-modified landscape. Wetlands Ecology and Management 22:625-639.
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