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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

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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

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