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Wetlands

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 101–110 | Cite as

Restored Agricultural Wetlands in central Iowa: Habitat Quality and Amphibian Response

  • Rebecca A. ReevesEmail author
  • Clay L. Pierce
  • Kelly L. Smalling
  • Robert W. Klaver
  • Mark W. Vandever
  • William A. Battaglin
  • Erin Muths
Original Research

Abstract

Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due, partly, to habitat loss. Conservation practices on the landscape restore wetlands to denitrify tile drainage effluent and restore ecosystem services. Understanding how water quality, hydroperiod, predation, and disease affect amphibians in restored wetlands is central to maintaining healthy amphibian populations in the region. We examined the quality of amphibian habitat in restored wetlands relative to reference wetlands by comparing species richness, developmental stress, and adult leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) survival probabilities to a suite of environmental metrics. Although measured habitat variables differed between restored and reference wetlands, differences appeared to have sub-lethal rather than lethal effects on resident amphibian populations. There were few differences in amphibian species richness and no difference in estimated survival probabilities between wetland types. Restored wetlands had more nitrate and alkaline pH, longer hydroperiods, and were deeper, whereas reference wetlands had more amphibian chytrid fungus zoospores in water samples and resident amphibians exhibited increased developmental stress. Restored and reference wetlands are both important components of the landscape in central Iowa and maintaining a complex of fish-free wetlands with a variety of hydroperiods will likely contribute to the persistence of amphibians in this landscape.

Keywords

Lithobates pipiens Mark-recapture Fluctuating asymmetry Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Hydroperiod Nitrate 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This project was funded by the Fort Collins Science Center as a part of ongoing technical assistance given to the USDA Farm Service Agency and the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI). The authors thank L. Bailey, T. Grant, D. Otis, D. Green, D. Cook, J. Niemi, S. Richmond, M. Lechtenberg, M. McWayne, C. Sanders and M. Hladik for helpful advice and comments, J. Oberheim-Vorwald, K. Edmunds, L. Truong, J. Harmon, and K. Flood for help in the field, and the landowners that allowed us access to their land. Exact wetland locations are proprietary and we obtained written permission for access to wetlands from all landowners and public land managers prior to the start of sampling. This study was performed under the auspices of Iowa State University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol # 3-12-7324-D, and animals were collected under state permit #SC699. This is a contribution 519 of the U.S. Geological Survey Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI). Use of trade, product, or firm names is descriptive and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Supplementary material

13157_2015_720_MOESM1_ESM.doc (63 kb)
Figure S1 Capture-mark-recapture sampling design for population and survival estimation of adult leopard frogs in restored and reference wetlands in central Iowa. Sampling was structured in a Robust Design framework with two primary periods per year and three secondary occasions within each primary period. Populations were considered open between and closed within primary periods. (DOC 63 kb)
13157_2015_720_MOESM2_ESM.doc (53 kb)
Figure S2 Locations of fluctuating asymmetry measurements on leopard frogs in restored and reference wetlands in central Iowa. The snout to urostyle length (SUL) was measured along with the length of the thumb (T), radioulna (RU), tibiofibula (TF), femur (FE), and foot (FO). (Image adapted from Cooper, Sarah. Animal Life. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1887. “Frog Skeleton.” Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/46200/46205/46205_frog_skel.htm) (DOC 53 kb)
13157_2015_720_MOESM3_ESM.doc (37 kb)
Table S1 Spearman correlation matrices for water chemistry variables in restored and reference wetlands in 2012 and 2013 that were included in the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). (DOC 37 kb)
13157_2015_720_MOESM4_ESM.doc (39 kb)
Table S2 Amphibian species detected using automated recording units (ARUs) in restored and reference wetlands in central Iowa. An “x” denotes that a species was detected during that season, a “-” denotes that it was not detected. (DOC 39 kb)
13157_2015_720_MOESM5_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Table S3 Capture-mark-recapture statistics for leopard frogs in restored and reference wetlands in central Iowa. (DOC 35 kb)
13157_2015_720_MOESM6_ESM.doc (94 kb)
Table S4 Complete model selection results for estimating the probability of survival for leopard frogs in central Iowa using the robust design with Huggin’s estimator in RMark and Program MARK. We ran all possible combinations of parameter types and used the corrected Akaike’s information criterion (AICc) to select the best models. (DOC 94 kb)
13157_2015_720_MOESM7_ESM.doc (52 kb)
Table S5 Environmental and amphibian characteristics of restored and reference wetlands in central Iowa. Where differences between years were not significant, the means of the pooled 2012 and 2013 data are shown. Fluctuating asymmetry is the absolute value of the difference between mean measurements for right and left tibiofibulae. Abbreviations: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd); not detected (ND); not sampled; (--); leopard frog (LIPI); and fluctuating asymmetry (FA). (DOC 51 kb)

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Copyright information

© US Government 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca A. Reeves
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • Clay L. Pierce
    • 2
  • Kelly L. Smalling
    • 3
  • Robert W. Klaver
    • 2
  • Mark W. Vandever
    • 4
  • William A. Battaglin
    • 5
  • Erin Muths
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resource Ecology and ManagementIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Geological Survey, Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research UnitIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Geological SurveyNew Jersey Water Science CenterLawrencevilleUSA
  4. 4.U.S. Geological SurveyFort Collins Science CenterFort CollinsUSA
  5. 5.U.S. Geological SurveyColorado Water Science CenterLakewoodUSA
  6. 6.U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceOceanvilleUSA

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