Effects of Agricultural Intensity Vary across Anuran Species

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Koumaris, Alex




Documented effects of agricultural intensity on anurans have been inconsistent. One possible explanation for this is that agricultural intensity can be correlated with adult habitat amount. Differences in tadpole life history could also cause different responses to larval habitat quality. We identified 39 ponds in Eastern Ontario, surrounded by a wide variation of row crop cover, where we measured anuran abundances, nitrate concentration, and a suite of local pond variables. We then constructed path analyses for each species to determine the direction and potential causes of effect of agricultural intensity on abundance. We found variable responses to agricultural intensity across anurans. As predicted, much of this variation could be explained by adult habitat amount and larval habitat quality. Overall, our results suggest that agricultural intensity itself is not strongly affecting anurans in our region, but confirm that habitat loss due to agriculture is particularly detrimental for forest species.






Carleton University

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