May 15, 2003-April 30, 2013
Level of Access
Over the past 200 years, conversion of land for agricultural use, industrial development, and urban sprawl has drastically reduced natural habitat for many species and is considered the most serious threat to biological diversity. Fragmentation divides once continuous natural habitats into smaller pieces that are often separated by areas unsuitable to sustain viable populations. The goal of the proposed research is to understand how important local population and metapopulation processes are altered by fragmentation of natural habitats in a model system of pond-breeding amphibians. The primary objectives of the proposed study are to experimentally compare demographic and behavioral responses of amphibians in clear-cut (with and without coarse woody debris), partial-cut, edge, and intact forest habitats around replicated natural breeding ponds.
These results will lead to a better understanding of the habitat requirements for successful recruitment and survival of local populations, and how amphibians disperse through fragmented landscapes. It will allow strong inferences about the disruption of metapopulation dynamics in amphibians caused by fragmentation and about how to prevent population declines and extinctions. Further, information from this project is essential to the development of conservation and management plans in state natural resource agencies, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.
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Hunter, Malcolm L. Jr., "Collaborative Research: Land-Use Practices And Persistence Of Amphibian Populations" (2013). University of Maine Office of Research Administration: Grant Reports. 163.