Date of Award

8-2014

Level of Access

Open-Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Wildlife Ecology and Wildlife Conservation

Advisor

Malcolm L. Hunter, Jr.

Second Committee Member

Aram J.K. Calhoun

Third Committee Member

David E. Hiebeler

Abstract

Maintaining amphibian populations in fragmented landscapes depends on preserving functional connectivity for animals that need to transit multiple vegetation types to satisfy habitat requirements. For many pool-breeding amphibians, successful dispersal is essential for gene flow; thus, quantifying the ability of juveniles to locate and reach suitable habitat in the terrestrial matrix is necessary to predict the consequences of landscape configuration for populations. I evaluated if different open-canopy vegetation types alter the behavior of juvenile wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus). First, I quantified the relative permeability of different open-vegetation types by experimentally releasing frogs in 35 x 3 m enclosures extending from forest edge into five treatments. Based on an index that compounds four metrics and scales relative to mature forest, permeability varied: row crop

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