Wetland Reserve Program enhances site occupancy and species richness in assemblages of anuran amphibians in the Lower Mississippi Valley, USA

Authors: Susan C Walls; J Hardin Waddle; S Faulkner
Contribution Number: 459



We measured amphibian habitat use to quantify the effectiveness of conservation practices implemented under the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), an initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). From February to June 2007, we monitored quantified calling male anurans at sites that were in 1) cultivated cropland. cultivation; 2) formerly in agriculture cultivated cropland but but later restored through the WRP; and mature bottomland hardwood forest. Sites were, all located in two watersheds within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley of Arkansas and Louisiana, USA. We estimated estimated detection probability probabilities of detection and site occupancy within each land use category using a Bayesian hierarchical model of community species occurrence, and derived an estimate of species richness at each site. Relative to agricultural sites, nine of 1l species detected were significantly more likely to occur at WRP sites and six were more likely to occur at forested sites. Derived estimates of species richness were also higher for WRP and forested sites, compared to those in cultivated cropland. Almost half (45%) of the species responded positively to both WRP and forested sites, suggesting indicating that patches undergoing restoration may be an important transitional habitats. Thus, WRP conservation practices are successful in restoring suitable habitat and reducing the impact of cultivation-induced habitat loss on amphibians in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.

Publication details
Published Date: 2013-12-03
Outlet/Publisher: Wetlands 34:197-207
Media Format:

ARMI Organizational Units:
Southeast - Biology
South Central - Biology
Management; Monitoring and Population Ecology
Place Names:
Arkansas; Arkansas Delta; Louisiana; Louisiana Delta; Lower White/Cache River Basins, Arkansas; Mississippi Alluvial Valley; Southeast U.S.; Tensas River Basin, Louisiana; United States; White and Cache River Basins of Arkansas
agriculture; amphibians; ARMI; call surveys; ecosystem services; habitat; habitat alteration; habitat effects; land cover/land use; management; monitoring; occupancy; pond-breeding amphibians; restoration; wetlands; Wetlands Reserve Program
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