Relative effects of wetland buffers and landscape composition on water quality and anuran diversity in agricultural wetlands

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Creator: 

Sawatzky, Margaret (Margaret E.)

Date: 

2016

Abstract: 

Farmland ponds can be havens for wetland-dependent wildlife, especially in agricultural regions with high rates of wetland loss. However, diverse wildlife can only persist in these agricultural wetlands if the water is of sufficient quality and if wetlands are surrounded by enough terrestrial habitat for semi-aquatic taxa such as anurans (frogs and toads). Most recommended protection measures for agricultural wetlands fall into one of two categories: (i) conserving a certain percentage of natural vegetation in the surrounding landscape, or (ii) retaining or implementing vegetated buffers between wetlands and adjacent crop fields. We empirically examined the effectiveness of these two strategies. We found that landscape-scale management is key to protecting water quality and anuran diversity in agricultural wetlands, and that for buffers to be effective, they must be larger than current guidelines dictate. Particularly, crop cover should be minimized within 200 m of wetlands, and woodland cover maximized within 1500 m.

Subject: 

Ecology
Limnology
Forestry and Wildlife

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Science: 
M.Sc.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Biology

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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