Watershed-level patterns among stream amphibians in the Blue River watershed, West-Central Cascades of Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3197xr39g

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  • Most recent research on stream amphibians in the Pacific Northwest has focused on associations with reach-level or stand-level environmental features. Little is known about landscape-level distributions of these species or landscape-level aspects of their life-histories. I used a watershed-wide sample and logistic regression to develop models and maps of probability of occurrence throughout the Blue River watershed stream network using widely-available and/or easily-derivable explanatory variables in pixelized GIS format. I also developed an innovative multi-scale model-building process to discern the strength of association of site-level variables in the presence of larger-scale, context variables. Finally, I investigated size distributions of stream amphibians within the stream network. Cascade torrent salamander larvae occurred only in a narrow range of stream sizes in the stream network. Tailed frog life stages differed in their occurrence within the stream network. Average sizes of Pacific giant salamander larvae were larger in larger streams. The strength of association of abstract, large-scale variables in the presence of detailed instream variables in multi-scale models indicated that some aspects of the environment which more directly affect the distribution of stream amphibians were not measured.
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