, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 361-373
Date: 29 Nov 2008

Spatial correlates of amphibian use of constructed wetlands in an urban landscape

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Abstract

Many amphibian species rely on both aquatic and terrestrial habitats to complete their life cycles. Therefore, processes operating both within the aquatic breeding habitat, and in the surrounding uplands may influence species distributions and community composition. Moreover, changes in land use adjacent to breeding site may degrade aquatic habitats. To assess land use effects on pond-breeding amphibian assemblages, we investigated relationships between land use, breeding habitat conditions, and breeding amphibian use of constructed wetlands in urban environments of the Baltimore metropolitan area, USA. Forest and impervious surface associations with species richness and occurrence occurred at spatial scales ranging from 50 to 1,000 m, with strongest relationships at 500 m. Forest and impervious surface cover within 1,000 m of ponds were also related to water and sediment quality, which in turn were capable of explaining a proportion of the observed variation in species richness and occurrence. Taken together, our results suggest that forest and other land covers within relatively proximal distances to ponds (i.e., within 50–1,000 m) may be influencing species richness directly via the provisioning of upland habitat, and indirectly via influences on within pond habitat quality.