Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 625–639 | Cite as

Anuran site occupancy and species richness as tools for evaluating restoration of a hydrologically-modified landscape

  • Susan C. Walls
  • J. Hardin Waddle
  • William J. Barichivich
  • Ian A. Bartoszek
  • Mary E. Brown
  • Jeromi M. Hefner
  • Melinda J. Schuman
Original Paper


A fundamental goal of wetland restoration is to reinstate pre-disturbance hydrological conditions to degraded landscapes, facilitating recolonization by native species and the production of resilient, functional ecosystems. To evaluate restoration success, baseline conditions need to be determined and a reference target needs to be established that will serve as an ecological blueprint in the restoration process. During the summer wet seasons of 2010 and 2011, we used automated recording units to monitor a community of calling anuran amphibians in the Picayune Strand State Forest of Southwest Florida, USA. This area is undergoing hydrological restoration as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. We compared occurrence of anurans at sites in the restoration area, to nearby locations in relatively undisturbed habitat (reference sites). We assessed the utility of the latter as restoration targets, using a hierarchical model of community species occupancy to estimate the probability of occurrence of anurans in restoration and reference locations. We detected 14 species, 13 of which were significantly more likely to occur in reference areas. All 14 species were estimated by our model to occur at these sites but, across both years, only 8–13 species were estimated to occur at restoration sites. The composition and structure of these habitats within and adjacent to the Picayune Strand State Forest indicate that they are suitable targets for habitat restoration, as measured by amphibian occurrence and species richness. These areas are important sources for recolonization of anuran amphibians as the hydrologically degraded Picayune Strand undergoes restoration to mitigate the effects of overdrainage and habitat loss.


Anuran amphibians Automated recording units Baseline reference conditions Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Picayune Strand Restoration Project Southwest Florida 



This work was supported by the United States Geological Survey’s Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystem Science program (USGS GEPES) and the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (USGS ARMI). We thank Picayune Strand State Forest and Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park personnel for permission to work on these lands, especially M. Owen (FSPSP Biologist) for advice and suggestions. We also thank D. Gregoire for assistance in listening to and transcribing recorded frog calls, J. Mitchell for commenting on an earlier draft of the manuscript, and B. Gloriso for preparing Fig. 5. B. Buchanan provided insight into relating sound pressure levels of calling frogs to their distance from a site. The use of trade or product names does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. This is contribution 465 of USGS ARMI.


  1. Addison D, Barry M, Bartoszek I, Ceilley D, Schmid J, Schuman M (2006) Pre-restoration wildlife surveys in the Southern Golden Gate Estates (2001–2004). Final Report for South Florida Water Management District. July 2006. Contract nr C-13259Google Scholar
  2. Allen CR, Nemec KT, Wardwell DA, Hoffman JD, Brust M, Decker KL, Fogell D, Hogue J, Lotz A, Miller T, Pummill M, Ramirez-Yañez LE, Uden DR (2013) Predictors of regional establishment success and spread of introduced non-indigenous vertebrates. Global Ecol Biogeogr 22:889–899CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aronson J, Dhillion S, Le Floc’h E (1995) On the need to select an ecosystem of reference, however imperfect: a reply to Pickett and Parker. Restor Ecol 3:1–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Austin DF, Jones JL, Bennett BC (1990) Vascular plants of Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. Fla Sci 53:89–117Google Scholar
  5. Baber MJ, Babbitt KJ (2003) The relative impacts of native and introduced predatory fish on a temporary wetland tadpole assemblage. Oecologia 136:289–295PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baldwin RF, Reed SE, McRae BH, Theobald DM, Sutherland RW (2012) Connectivity restoration in large landscapes: modeling landscape condition and ecological flows. Ecol Restor 30:274–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bartoszek IA, Schuman MJ, Addison DS, Worley KB, Schmid JR (2007) Biological monitoring of aquatic and terrestrial fauna for the picayune strand restoration project (2005–2007). Final Report for South Florida Water Management District, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Naples, FLGoogle Scholar
  8. Beane JC, Braswell AL, Mitchell JC, Palmer WM, Harrison JR III (2010) Amphibians and reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel HillGoogle Scholar
  9. Benevides FL Jr, Mautz WJ, Warrington M (2009) A piece-wise linear model of sound pressure level of male Eleutherodactylus coqui overnight chorus. Herpetol Rev 40:162–165Google Scholar
  10. Blouin MS (1990) Evolution of palatability differences between closely-related treefrogs. J Herpetol 24:309–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carr A, Goin CJ (1959) Guide to the reptiles, amphibians and freshwater fishes of Florida. University of Florida Press, GainesvilleGoogle Scholar
  12. Chuirazzi KJ, Duever MJ (2008) South Florida environmental report. Volume I: The South Florida Environment. Appendix 7A-2: Picayune Strand Restoration Project baseline. South Florida Water Management District, West Palm BeachGoogle Scholar
  13. Collen B, Whitton F, Dyer EE, Baillie JEM, Cumberlidge N, Darwall WRT, Pollock C, Richman NI, Soulsby AM, Böhm M (2014) Global patterns of freshwater species diversity, threat, and endemism. Global Ecol Biogeogr 23:40–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Collins JP (2010) Amphibian decline and extinction: what we know and what we need to learn. Dis Aquat Organ 92:93–99PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Collins JP, Storfer A (2003) Global amphibian declines: sorting the hypotheses. Divers Distrib 9:89–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dahl TE (2006) Status and trends of wetlands in the conterminous United States 1998 to 2004. U.S. Department of the Interior; Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  17. Denton JS, Hitchings SP, Beebee TJC, Gent A (1997) A recovery program for the Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) in Britain. Conserv Biol 11:1329–1338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dixon AD, Cox WR, Everham EM III, Ceilley DW (2011) Anurans as biological indicators of restoration success in the Greater Everglades ecosystem. Southeast Nat 10:629–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dorazio RM, Royle JA, Söderstrom B, Glimskär A (2006) Estimating species richness and accumulation by modeling species occurrence and detectability. Ecology 87:842–854PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dorcas M, Gibbons W (2008) Frogs and toads of the Southeast. University of Georgia Press, AthensGoogle Scholar
  21. Duellman WE, Schwartz A (1958) Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bull Fla State Mus 3:181–324Google Scholar
  22. Duever MJ, Roberts RE (2013) Successional and transitional models of natural South Florida, USA, plant communities. Fire Ecol 9:110–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Enge KM (1997) Habitat occurrence of Florida’s native amphibians and reptiles. Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Technical Report No. 13, Tallahassee, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  24. Fahrig L (2003) Effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 34:487–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gelman A, Hill J (2007) Data analysis using regression and multilevel/hierarchical models. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Gunzburger MS (2005) Differential predation on tadpoles influences the potential effects of hybridization between Hyla cinerea and Hyla gratiosa. J Herpetol 39:682–687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Guzy JC, McCoy ED, Deyle AC, Gonzalez SM, Halstead N, Mushinsky HR (2012) Urbanization interferes with the use of amphibians as indicators of ecological integrity of wetlands. J Appl Ecol 49:941–952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hecnar SJ, M’Closky RT (1997) The effects of predatory fish on amphibian species richness and distribution. Biol Conserv 79:123–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Iknayan KJ, Tingley MW, Furnas BJ, Beissinger SR (2014) Detecting diversity: emerging methods to estimate species diversity. Trends Ecol Evol 29:97–106Google Scholar
  30. Jansen M (2009) Measuring temporal variation in calling intensity of a frog chorus with a data logging sound level meter: results from a pilot study in Bolivia. Herpetol Notes 2:143–149Google Scholar
  31. Kéry M, Royle JA (2008) Hierarchical Bayes estimation of species richness and occupancy in spatially replicated surveys. J Appl Ecol 45:589–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Krysko KL, Burgess JP, Rochford MR, Gillette CR, Cueva D, Enge KM, Somma LA, Stabile JL, Smith DC, Wasilewski JA, Kieckhefer GN III, Granatosky MC, Nielsen SV (2011) Verified non-indigenous amphibians and reptiles in Florida from 1863 through 2010: outlining the invasion process and identifying invasion pathways and stages. Zootaxa 3028:1–64Google Scholar
  33. Kuo L, Mallick B (1998) Variable selection for regression models. Sankhya 60B:65–81Google Scholar
  34. MacDougall AS, Turkington R (2005) Are invasive species the drivers or passengers of change in degraded ecosystems? Ecology 86:42–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. MacKenzie DI, Nichols JD, Royle JA, Pollock KH, Bailey LL, Hines JE (2006) Occupancy estimation and modeling: inferring patterns and dynamics of species occurrence. Academic Press, BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
  36. Manning AD, Lindenmayer DB, Fisher J (2006) Stretch goals and backcasting: approaches for overcoming barriers to large-scale ecological restoration. Restor Ecol 14:487–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and human wellbeing: wetlands and water synthesis. World Resources Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  38. Moler PE, Franz R (1987) Wildlife values of small, isolated wetlands in the southeastern Coastal Plain. In: Odom RR, Riddleberger KA, Ozier JC (eds) Proceedings of the third SE Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Symposium, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  39. Mount RH (1975) The reptiles and amphibians of Alabama. Auburn Printing Co., AuburnGoogle Scholar
  40. Noss RF, LaRoe III ET, Scott JM (1995) Endangered ecosystems of the United States: a preliminary assessment of loss and degradation. Biological report 28. National Biological Service, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  41. Pimm SL, Raven PH (2000) Biodiversity: extinction by numbers. Nature 403:843–845PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pimm SL, Russell GJ, Gittleman JL, Brooks TM (1995) The future of biodiversity. Science 269:347–350PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Remm L, Löhmus P, Leis M, Löhmus A (2013) Long-term impacts of forest ditching on non-aquatic biodiversity: conservation perspectives for a novel ecosystem. PLoS One 8:e63086. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063086 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rieger JF, Binckley CA, Resetarits WJ Jr (2004) Larval performance and oviposition site preference along a predation gradient. Ecology 85:2094–2099CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Royle JA, Dorazio RM (2008) Hierarchical modeling and inference in ecology. Academic Press, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  46. Saenz D, Fitzgerald LA, Baum KA, Conner RN (2006) Abiotic correlates of anuran calling phenology: the importance of rain, temperature and season. Herpetol Monogr 20:64–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Semlitsch RD (2000) Principles for management of aquatic-breeding amphibians. J Wildl Manag 64:615–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Semlitsch RD (2002) Critical elements for biologically based recovery plans of aquatic-breeding amphibians. Conserv Biol 16:619–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Semlitsch RD, Bodie JR (2003) Biological criteria for buffer zones around wetlands and riparian habitats for amphibians and reptiles. Conserv Biol 17:1219–1228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shulse CD, Semlitsch RD, Trauth DM, Gardner JE (2012) Testing wetland features to increase amphibian reproductive success and species richness for mitigation and restoration. Ecol Appl 22:1675–1688PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Smith SM, McCormick PV, Leeds JA, Garrett PB (2002) Constraints of seed bank species composition and water depth for restoring vegetation in the Florida Everglades, USA. Restor Ecol 10:138–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Snodgrass JW, Bryan AL Jr, Burger J (2000) Development of expectations of larval amphibian assemblage structure in southeastern depression wetlands. Ecol Appl 10:1219–1229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Spiegelhalter DJ, Thomas A, Best NG, Lunn D (2003) WinBUGS version 1.4 user manual. MRC Biostatistics Unit, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  54. Stanback M (2010) Gambusia holbrooki predation on Pseudacris feriarum tadpoles. Herpetol Conserv Biol 5:486–489Google Scholar
  55. Stoddard JL, Larsen DP, Hawkins CP, Johnson RK, Norris RH (2006) Setting expectations for the ecological condition of streams: the concept of reference condition. Ecol Appl 16:1267–1276PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Stuart SN, Hoffmann M, Chanson JS, Cox NA, Berridge RJ, Ramani P, Young BE (2008) Threatened amphibians of the world. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona; IUCN, Gland; Conservation International, ArlingtonGoogle Scholar
  57. Suislepp K, Rannap R, Lõhmus A (2011) Impacts of artificial drainage on amphibian breeding sites in hemiboreal forests. Forest Ecol Manag 262:1078–1083CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Thompson BA (2011) Planning for implementation: landscape-level restoration planning in an agricultural setting. Restor Ecol 19:5–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Thorpe AS, Stanley AG (2011) Determining appropriate goals for restoration of imperiled communities and species. J Appl Ecol 48:275–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. U. S. Department of the Interior (2005) Science Plan in Support of Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation, and Protection in South Florida http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/reports/doi-science-plan/#pdf. Accessed 18 Jan 2013
  61. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1999) Final integrated feasibility report and programmatic environmental impact statement. Central and southern Florida project comprehensive review study. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville DistrictGoogle Scholar
  62. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2013) C-111 Spreader Channel Western Project Fact Sheet. http://www.evergladesplan.org/docs/fs_c111_july_2013_508.pdf. Accessed 18 Dec 2013
  63. Waddle JH (2006) Use of amphibians as ecosystem indicator species. Dissertation, University of Florida, GainesvilleGoogle Scholar
  64. Waddle JH, Glorioso BM, Faulkner SP (2013) A quantitative assessment of the conservation benefits of the Wetlands Reserve Program to amphibians. Restor Ecol 21:200–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wagner KI, Gallagher SK, Hayes M, Lawrence BA, Zedler JB (2008) Wetland restoration in the new millennium: do research efforts match opportunities? Restor Ecol 16:367–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Walls SC, Waddle JH, Dorazio RM (2011) Estimating occupancy dynamics in an anuran assemblage from Louisiana, USA. J Wildl Manag 75:751–761CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Weir LA, Mossman MJ (2005) North American amphibian monitoring program (NAAMP). In: Lannoo M (ed) Amphibian declines: the conservation status of United States species. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 307–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wilcove DS, Rothstein D, Dubow J, Phillips A, Losos E (1998) Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States. Bioscience 48:607–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Zedler JB, Kercher S (2005) Wetland resources: status, trends, ecosystem services, and restorability. Annu Rev Environ Resour 30:39–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan C. Walls
    • 1
  • J. Hardin Waddle
    • 2
  • William J. Barichivich
    • 1
  • Ian A. Bartoszek
    • 3
  • Mary E. Brown
    • 4
  • Jeromi M. Hefner
    • 5
  • Melinda J. Schuman
    • 3
  1. 1.Southeast Ecological Science CenterU.S. Geological SurveyGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.National Wetlands Research CenterU.S. Geological SurveyLafayetteUSA
  3. 3.Conservancy of Southwest FloridaNaplesUSA
  4. 4.Southeast Ecological Science CenterCherokee Nation Technology Solutions, Contracted to U.S. Geological SurveyGainesvilleUSA
  5. 5.National Wetlands Research CenterFive Rivers Services, LLC, Contracted to U.S. Geological SurveyLafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations