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Assessing the potential impacts of alternative landscape designs on amphibian population dynamics Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/td96k324j

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  • present a unique modeling approach to investigate the potential impacts of future land use alternatives on amphibian population dynamics in two agricultural watersheds in central Iowa. An individual-based spatially explicit population was used to predict the consequences of alternative landscape design and management for populations of four amphibian species. The model includes both breeding and upland habitat and incorporates the effects of prairie wetland hydroperiod and demographic stochasticity. Data requirements of the model included species' life history characteristics, dispersal behavior, and habitat affinities, and GIS maps of the landscapes. The future scenarios were ranked according to change in intrinsic rate of increase, and breeder abundance, saturation and distribution compared to baseline conditions. The sensitivity of results to changes in model parameters was also examined. Results of the simulations suggest the four species modeled will persist under present and future scenario conditions, assuming parameter estimates are correct. While the study species are all widespread generalists regarded as having a low conservation priority, they are dependent on wetlands and ponds, increasingly endangered habitats in agricultural landscapes. Broader conservation strategies in the region would ensure that these currently common organisms do not become the endangered species of the future.
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