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dc.contributor.authorRandolph, Jennifer L.eng
dc.contributor.authorWilliams, Bethany K., 1980-eng
dc.contributor.authorSemlitsch, Raymond D.eng
dc.contributor.corporatenameUniversity of Missouri-Columbia. Office of Undergraduate Researcheng
dc.contributor.meetingnameUndergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum (2008 : University of Missouri--Columbia)eng
dc.date2008eng
dc.date.issued2008eng
dc.descriptionAbstract only availableeng
dc.description.abstractAlthough many causes for worldwide amphibian population declines are under investigation, the destruction and alteration of aquatic habitats remains a primary threat. In agricultural landscapes, natural wetlands are often filled or drained and farm ponds are generally stocked with fish. Because suitable breeding habitats may be limited, streams and habitat along streams may provide important refuges for amphibians. Previous studies have shown that amphibians call from streams, but it is unclear whether agricultural streams 1) provide suitable habitat for amphibian reproduction and larval development, or 2) act as ecological traps. To address this question, we surveyed twenty-six streams located in north-central Missouri for evidence of amphibian reproductive success. Each survey included a time-constrained dip-net effort for larvae and metamorphs, as well as measurements of basic water quality parameters such as pH and conductivity. We also performed a physical habitat assessment using a modified EPA protocol for wadeable streams, emphasizing characteristics that would be necessary for amphibian reproduction success (e.g., areas of in-channel cover and refuges from high-flow conditions). Evidence of reproduction was detected for four anuran species. Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) were by far the most common species detected, occurring at twenty-four of twenty-six sites. Streams were on average low-gradient and shallow with sandy substrates. Available terrestrial habitats were often restricted by steep bank slopes and limited vegetation. These results indicate that agricultural streams can serve as breeding and larval habitats for amphibians, although the prevalence of bullfrogs suggests that these habitats may favor larger-bodied species with strong competitive ability. Additional analyses will determine whether the presence or absence of individual species can be predicted by local (e.g., stream buffer width) or watershed-level (e.g., percentage of row crop land use) variables. Ultimately, this work should provide information to improve amphibian conservation efforts in agricultural areas.eng
dc.description.sponsorshipNSF Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biologyeng
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10355/1988eng
dc.languageen_USeng
dc.publisherUniversity of Missouri--Columbia. Office of Undergraduate Researcheng
dc.relation.ispartof2008 Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum (MU)eng
dc.relation.ispartofcommunityUniversity of Missouri-Columbia. Office of Undergraduate Research. Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forumeng
dc.subjectpopulation declineeng
dc.subjectreproductive successeng
dc.subjectconservation effortseng
dc.titleAssessing the value of agricultural streams as amphibian refuges [abstract]eng
dc.typePresentationeng


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