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Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 181–190 | Cite as

Pond age and riparian zone proximity influence anuran occupancy of urban retention ponds

  • Devynn A. Birx-Raybuck
  • Steven J. Price
  • Michael E. Dorcas
Article

Abstract

Urbanization is widespread throughout the United States and negatively affects many wildlife populations. However, certain urban features, such as retention ponds, may provide habitat for some species, such as amphibians. This study examines the influence of riparian zone proximity and pond age on retention pond occupancy by anurans. We identified and estimated the age of 25 retention ponds near Charlotte, North Carolina, USA and used a geographic information system to determine the distance to the nearest riparian zone. Occupancy modeling indicated that anuran presence decreased with increasing distance to riparian zone. Pond age also appeared to be an important factor, but the effect varied among species. Although the results of this study demonstrate the potential value of retention ponds to anurans, it is important to be conservative in estimating the ability of these ponds to sustain amphibian populations in urbanized regions.

Keywords

Anuran Urbanization Retention pond Fragmented landscape Riparian zone Pond age 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank M. Pilgrim and four anonymous reviewers for their comments that improved the manuscript. We thank W. Anderson, G. Connette, E. Eskew, B. Fonville, D. Millican, and C. Steelman for assistance in the field. Funding was provided by the Davidson College Department of Biology, Duke Power, and a National Science Foundation grant to MED (DEB-0347326).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Devynn A. Birx-Raybuck
    • 1
  • Steven J. Price
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael E. Dorcas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyDavidson CollegeDavidsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA

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