Document Type



Amphibian assemblages, constructed ponds, wetland use, pond age


Amphibian assemblages were sampled at nine constructed ponds (three in each age category: new ponds-age <1 yr, young ponds-age 4-5 yr, old ponds-age >30 yr) on Maryland's eastern shore (May-October 1994, March-August 1995) using a total of 27 drift fence and funnel trap arrays. The importance of habitat and landscape variables including pond age was considered in explaining amphibian use and distribution across ponds. Specifically, amphibian (1) abundance; (2) composition; (3) diversity; (4) richness; and (5) reproductive success were studied. During both years, we captured 1904 individuals comprising ten species. The most frequently collected species (species found in all treatments) were Bufo fowleri, Rana sphenocephala utricularius, and Rana catesbeiana. Bufo fow/eri comprised the majority of the collections in 1994 and 1995, 60.6% and 49.4% respectively. Some species were only collected at new ponds (Hy/a chrysoscelis, H. cinerea), some only at young and old ponds (Acris crepitans, Rana clamitans), and some only at old ponds (Scaphiopus holbrookii, Ambystoma opacum). Despite these differences in composition, no statistically significant differences in reproductive success or numbers collected were found across treatments. Brillouin diversity indices indicated amphibian diversity was greatest at young ponds in both years. Results suggest that, in the ponds studied, pond age affects amphibian composition, richness, and diversity but is not particularly useful in predicting reproductive success or the sizes of amphibian collections. However, because canonical correspondence analysis showed age to be a relatively important variable, it should not be discounted. Species-specific habitat requirements, regional abundance, and pond placement in the landscape (e.g., next to agriculture) appear to be more important in explaining amphibian use of constructed ponds.

Publication Date

September-December 2000

Journal Title

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science





First Page


Last Page



© Copyright 2000 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



File Format