Faculty Publications

Title

Association between Habitat Characteristics, Human Activities, and Anuran Species in a Wetland Agricultural Landscape

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Herpetology

Volume

49

Issue

4

First Page

594

Last Page

601

Abstract

I conducted anuran vocalization surveys in cranberry bogs, drainage ditches, and reservoirs of three active and three abandoned cranberry farms in the New Jersey Pinelands to examine the distribution of four anuran species in three consecutive years. I then applied a multinomial model to quantify their calling intensity and assess the influence of cranberry cultivation activities on each anuran species. I discovered that four species naturally inhabiting the Pinelands exhibited varied responses to cranberry cultivation. The responses ranged from positive to negative depending on the life history characteristics, disturbance tolerance, and especially the breeding season of the species in question. Green frogs (Lithobates (=Rana) clamitans) showed a high abundance in the bog habitats of active farms, where they exhibited prolonged courtship calls in late summer. Fowler's Toads (Anaxyrus (=Bufo) fowleri) exhibited high abundance in the ditches of active farms and the reservoirs of abandoned farms. On the other hand, Southern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates sphenocephalus) and Carpenter Frogs (Lithobates virgatipes) showed a reduced occurrence and calling intensity in active farms, probably because of the intensive water management that coincides with their breeding or wintering season, respectively. My findings indicate that wetlands in agricultural settings with diverse habitats can potentially be used as breeding habitats by anurans, but only if agricultural activities do not interfere with the anuran's breeding and wintering patterns.

Original Publication Date

12-1-2015

DOI of published version

10.1670/14-079

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