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766 record(s) found.

Papers & Reports Short-term occupancy and abundance dynamics of the Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa) across its core range
Authors: Michael J Adams; Chris A Pearl; B McCreary; S Galvan
Date: 2014-11-03 | Outlet: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1230
The Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) occupies only a fraction of its original range and is listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We surveyed 93 sites in a rotating panel frame design (2010–13) in the Klamath and Deschutes Basins, Oregon, which encompass most of the species’ core extant range. Oregon spotted frogs are decreasing in probability of both site occupancy and abundance. We did not find an association between the probability that Oregon spotted frogs disappear from a site (local extinction) and any of the variables hypothesized to affect Oregon spotted frog occupancy. This 4-year study provides baseline data, but the 4-year period was too short to draw firm conclusions about current (2014) trends. Further study is essential to understand how habitat changes and management practices relate to the status and trends of this species.
Papers & Reports Using monitoring data to map amphibian breeding hotspots and describe wetland vulnerability in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
Authors: Andrew M Ray; A Sepulveda; Blake R Hossack; Debra A Patla; K Legg
Date: 2014 | Outlet: Park Science 31:112-119
Amphibians have been selected as a “vital sign” by several
National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring (I&M)
networks. An eight-year amphibian monitoring data set provided
opportunities to examine spatial and temporal patterns in
amphibian breeding richness and wetland desiccation across
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Amphibian
breeding richness was variable across both parks, and only 4 of
31 permanent monitoring catchments contained all four widely
distributed species. Annual breeding richness was also variable
through time and fl uctuated by as much as 75% in some years and
catchments. Wetland desiccation was also documented across the
region, but alone did not explain variations in amphibian richness.
High annual variability across the region emphasizes the need for
multiple years of monitoring to accurately describe amphibian
richness and wetland desiccation dynamics.
Papers & Reports Reproductive strategy and carry-over effects for species with complex life histories.
Authors: Adam W Green; Larissa L Bailey
Outlet: Population Ecology
Papers & Reports Indicators of the Statuses of Amphibian Populations and Their Potential for Exposure to Atrazine in Four Midwestern U.S. Conservation Areas
Authors: W J Sadinski; Mark F Roth; T Hayes; P M Jones; A L Gallant
Date: 2014-09-12 | Outlet: PLoS ONE 9(9): e107018. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107018
Extensive corn production in the midwestern United States has physically eliminated or fragmented vast areas of historical amphibian habitat. Midwestern corn farmers also apply large quantities of fertilizers and herbicides, which can cause direct and indirect effects on amphibians. Limited field research regarding the statuses of midwestern amphibian populations near areas of corn production has left resource managers, conservation planners, and other stakeholders needing more information to improve conservation strategies and management plans. We repeatedly sampled amphibians in wetlands in four conservation areas along a gradient of proximity to corn production in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin from 2002 to 2005 and estimated site occupancy. We measured frequencies of gross physical deformities in recent metamorphs and triazine concentrations in the water at breeding sites. We also measured trematode infection rates in kidneys of recently metamorphosed Lithobates pipiens collected from nine wetlands in 2003 and 2004. We detected all possible amphibian species in each study area. The amount of nearby row crops was limited in importance as a covariate for estimating site occupancy. We observed deformities in <5% of metamorphs sampled and proportions were not associated with triazine concentrations. Trematode infections were high in metamorphs from all sites we sampled, but not associated with site triazine concentrations, except perhaps for a subset of sites sampled in both years. We detected triazines more often and in higher concentrations in breeding wetlands closer to corn production. Triazine concentrations increased in floodplain wetlands as water levels rose after rainfall and were similar among lotic and lentic sites. Overall, our results suggest amphibian populations were not faring differently among these four conservation areas, regardless of their proximity to corn production, and that the ecological dynamics of atrazine exposure were complex.
Papers & Reports Detecting Emergence, Growth, and Senescence of Wetland Vegetation with Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Data.
Authors: A L Gallant; S G Kaya; L White; Brian Brisco; Mark F Roth; W J Sadinski; J Rover
Date: 2014-03-24 | Outlet: Water. 2014; 6(3):694-722
Wetlands provide ecosystem goods and services vitally important to humans. Land managers and policymakers working to conserve wetlands require regularly updated information on the statuses of wetlands across the landscape. However, wetlands are challenging to map remotely with high accuracy and consistency. We investigated the use of multitemporal polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data acquired with Canada’s Radarsat-2 system to track within-season changes in wetland vegetation and surface water. We speculated, a priori, how temporal and morphological traits of different types of wetland vegetation should respond over a growing season with respect to four energy-scattering mechanisms. We used ground-based monitoring data and other ancillary information to assess the limits and consistency of the SAR data for tracking seasonal changes in wetlands. We found the traits of different types of vertical emergent wetland vegetation were detected well with the SAR data and corresponded with our anticipated backscatter responses. We also found using data from Landsat’s optical/infrared sensors in conjunction with SAR data helped remove confusion of wetland features with upland grasslands. These results suggest SAR data can provide useful monitoring information on the statuses of wetlands over time.
Papers & Reports Wetland Occupancy of Pond-breeding Amphibians in Yosemite National Park, USA
Authors: Gary M Fellers; Patrick M Kleeman; David AW Miller
Date: 2015-05 | Outlet: The Journal of North American Herpetology 2015(1):22-33
We estimated wetland occupancy and population trends for three species of pond-breeding anurans in Yosemite National Park from 2007 – 2011. We used a double survey technique in which two observers independently surveyed each site on the same day. Double surveys allowed us to calculate detectability for the three most common anurans within the park: Rana sierrae, Anaxyrus canorus, and Pseudacris regilla. Annual estimates of detectability were generally high; mean detectability ranged from 73.7% + 0.6 (SE) for any life history stage of A. canorus to 86.7% + 0.7 for sites with P. regilla reproduction (eggs or larvae present). Detectability was most variable for Anaxyrus canorus, which ranged from 45.9% to 99.7%. The probability of occupancy for R. sierrae was highest in larger, low-elevation wetlands that lacked fish. Anaxyrus canorus were more common in shallow high-elevation ponds; their occurrence was minimally impacted by the presence of fish. Finally, occurrence of P. regilla was largely unrelated to wetland size and elevation, but like R. sierrae, they were less likely to occupy sites with fi sh. Occupancy showed no trend over the five years of our study for R. sierrae or A. canorus when considering either sites with any life stage or only sites with reproduction. However, P. regilla showed a modest downward trend for sites with any life stage and sites with reproduction. Our results for R. sierrae run counter to expectations given recent concern about the decline of this species, while our findings for P. regilla raise concerns for this widespread and generally common species.
Papers & Reports HYLA CHRYSOSCELIS (Cope’s Gray Treefrog) x HYLA CINEREA (Green Treefrog). PUTATIVE NATURAL HYBRID.
Authors: Brad M Glorioso; J Hardin Waddle; J A Jenkins; H M Olivier; R R Layton
Date: 2015-09-01 | Outlet: Herpetological Review 46:410-411
Papers & Reports Pesticide concentrations in frog tissue and wetland habitats in a landscape dominated by agriculture
Authors: K L Smalling; Rebecca A Reeves; Erin Muths; M Vandever; William A Battaglin; Michelle L Hladik; Clay L Pierce
Date: 2014 | Outlet: Science of the Total Environment
Among the multiple stressors potentially affecting the presence of amphibians across agricultural landscapes, habitat loss and exposure to pesticides are likely primary factors contributing to amphibian decline. Conservation efforts have attempted to restore wetlands lost through landscape modifications with the aim of reducing contaminant loads in surface waters and providing quality habitat to wildlife. However, the benefits of this increased wetland area, perhaps especially for amphibians, may be negated if habitat quality is insufficient to support persistent populations. We examined the presence of pesticides and nutrients in water and sediment as indicators of habitat quality and assessed the accumulation of pesticides in tissue of two native amphibian species Pseudacris maculata (chorus frogs) and Lithobates pipiens (leopard frogs) at six wetlands (3 restored and 3 reference) in Iowa, USA. Restored wetlands are positioned on the landscape to receive subsurface tile drainage water while reference wetlands receive water from overland run-off and shallow groundwater sources. Concentrations of the pesticides frequently detected in water and sediment samples were not different between wetland types. The herbicide atrazine was detected in 100% of the water samples and in some instances at concentrations high enough to potentially cause reproductive effects in leopard frogs. Nutrient concentrations were higher in the restored wetlands but lower than concentrations thought to cause lethality in frogs. Seventeen pesticides were detected in tissue samples with concentrations ranging from 0.08 to 1,500 µg/kg wet weight. No significant differences in pesticide concentrations were observed between species, although concentrations tended to be higher in leopard frogs compared to chorus frogs, possibly because of differences in life histories. Our results provide information on habitat quality in restored wetlands that will assist state and federal agencies, landowners, and resource managers in identifying and implementing conservation and management actions for these and similar wetlands in agriculturally dominated landscapes.
Papers & Reports Reproductive biology of Ambystoma salamanders in the southeastern United States
Authors: Brad M Glorioso; J Hardin Waddle; J M Hefner
Date: 2015-06-16 | Outlet: Herpetology Notes 8:347-356
Reproductive aspects of Ambystoma salamanders were investigated at a site in Louisiana (2010–2012) and a site in Mississippi (2013). Three species occurred at the Louisiana site, Spotted Salamander (A. maculatum), Marbled Salamander (A. opacum), and Mole Salamander (A. talpoideum), whereas only Spotted Salamanders were studied at the Mississippi site. A total of 162 and 71 egg masses of Spotted Salamanders were examined at the Louisiana and Mississippi sites, respectively. Significantly more Spotted Salamander eggs per mass were observed at the Mississippi site (78.2) than the Louisiana site (53.8; p<0.001). The mean snout-vent length of female Spotted Salamanders at the Mississippi site (82.9 mm) was significantly larger than the Louisiana site (76.1 mm; p<0.001). Opaque Spotted Salamander egg masses were not found at the Mississippi site, but accounted for 11% of examined egg masses at the Louisiana site. The mean number of eggs per mass at the Louisiana site did not differ between opaque (47.3) and clear (54.6) egg masses (p=0.21). A total of 47 egg masses of the Mole Salamander were examined, with a mean number of 6.7 embryos per mass. Twenty-three individual nests of the Marbled Salamander were found either under or in decaying logs in the dry pond basins. There was no difference between the mean numbers of eggs per mass of attended nests (93.0) versus those that were discovered unattended (86.6; p=0.67). Females tended to place their nests at intermediate heights within the pond basin.
Papers & Reports Identifying monitoring gaps for amphibian populations in a North American biodiversity hotspot, the southeastern USA
Authors: Susan C Walls
Date: 2014-09-10 | Outlet: Biodiversity and Conservation 23(13):3341-3357.
I review the primary literature to ascertain the status of amphibian monitoring efforts in the southeastern USA, a “hotspot” for biodiversity in North America. This effort revealed taxonomic, geographic and ecological disparities in studies of amphibian populations in this region. Of the species of anurans and caudates known to occur in the Southeast, 73.8% and 33.3%, respectively, have been monitored continuously for at least 4 years. Anurans are generally shorter-lived than are caudates and, thus, have been studied for the equivalent of at least one population turnover more than have caudates. The percentage of species (of those occurring in a given state) monitored continuously for at least 4 years was lowest for Alabama and Mississippi and highest for Florida for both taxa. The vast majority of studies (69.6%) were conducted on species that inhabit natural freshwater wetlands, in contrast to other aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Species considered threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) comprised only 7.7% of 65 species that have been studied consistently. The majority of comparative studies of contemporary vs. historical occurrences were potentially biased by the use of “presence-only” historical data and resurveys of short duration. Other issues, such as inadequate temporal and spatial scale and neglect of different sources of error, were common. Awareness of these data gaps and sampling and statistical issues may help facilitate informed decisions in setting future monitoring priorities, particularly with respect to species, habitats and locations that have been largely overlooked in past and ongoing studies.
Papers & Reports Please don’t misuse the museum: ‘declines’ may be statistical
Authors: Evan HC Grant
Outlet: Global Change Biology
Detecting declines in populations at broad spatial scales takes enormous effort, and long-term data are often more sparse than is desired for estimating trends, identifying drivers for population changes, framing conservation decisions or taking management actions. Museum records and historic data can be available at large scales across multiple decades, and are therefore an attractive source of information on the comparative status of populations. However, changes in populations may be real (e.g., in response to environmental covariates) or resulting from variation in our ability to observe the true population response (also possibly related to environmental covariates). Evaluating statistical hypotheses alongside more interesting ecological ones is important in the appropriate use of museum data. Two statistical considerations are generally applicable to use of museum records; first without initial random sampling, comparison with contemporary results cannot provide inference to the entire range of a species, and second the availability of only some individuals in a population may respond to environmental changes. Changes in the availability of individuals may reduce the proportion of the population that is available to be counted on a given survey event, resulting in an apparent decline even when population size is stable.
Papers & Reports Heterogeneous occupancy and density estimates of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in waters of North America
Authors: T Chestnut; Chauncey W Anderson; R Popa; M A Voytek; Andrew R Blaustein; Deanna H Olson; Julie A Kirshtein
Date: 2014 | Outlet: PLOS One 9(9): e106790
Biodiversity losses are occurring worldwide due to a combination of stressors. For example, one estimate is that 40% of amphibian species are vulnerable to extinction and a major contributing factor to losses in amphibian biodiversity in disease. One pathogen, the emerging infectious fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a contributor to amphibian population declines worldwide. Bd research has focused on the dynamicas of the pathogen within amphibian hosts with little emphasis on investigating the potential dynamics of free-living Bd. Therefore, we investigated patterns of Bd occupancy and density in amphibian habitats using occupancy models, powerful tools for estimating site occupancy and detection probability. Occupancy models have been used to investigate diseases where the focus was on pathogen occurrence in the host. We applied occupancy models to investigate free-living Bd in North American surface waters to determine Bd seasonality, relationships between Bd site occupancy and habitat attributes, and probability of Bd detection from water samples as a function of the number of samples, sample volume, and water quality. We also report on the temporal patterns of Bd density from a 4-year case study of a Bd-positive wetland. We provide evidence that Bd occurs in the environment year-round. Bd exhibited temporal and spatial heterogeneity in density, but did not exhibit seasonality in occupancy. Bd was detected in all months, typically less than 100 zoospores L-1. The highest density observed was ~3 million zoospores L-1. We detected Bd in 47% of sites sampled but estimated Bd occupied 61% of sites, highlighting the importance of accounting for imperfect detection. When Bd was present, there was a 95% chance of detecting it with four samples of 600 ml of water or five samples of 60 ml. Our findings provide important baseline information to advance the study of Bd disease ecology in temperate-zone systems, and advance our understanding of amphibian exposure to free-living Bd in aquatic habitats over time.
Papers & Reports Demography of common toads after local extirpation of
Authors: Jaime Bosch; S Fernandez-Beaskoetxez; R D Scherer; Staci M Amburgey; Erin Muths
Date: 2014-09 | Outlet: Amphibia-Reptilia
Estimating demographic parameters like survival or recruitment provides insight into the state and trajectory of populations, but understanding the contexts influencing those parameters, including both biotic and abiotic factors, is particularly important for management and conservation. At a high elevation national park in Central Spain, common toads (Bufo bufo) are apparently taking advantage of the near-extirpation of the midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans), as colonizationinto new breeding ponds is evident.Within this scenario, we expected demographic parameters of common toad populations to be affected favorably by the putative release from competition. However, we found the population growth rate was negative in 4 of 5 years at the long-standing population; survival probability at the long-standing population and newly-colonized breeding ponds was lower than reported for other toads living at high elevations and the probability of recruitment was inadequate to compensate for the survival rate in maintaining a positive trajectory for either of the breeding ponds. We assessed weather covariates and disease for their contribution to the context thatmay be limiting the common toad’s successful use of the niche vacated by the midwife toad.
Papers & Reports Partitioning the non-consumptive effects of predators on prey with complex life histories
Authors: M Davenport; Blake R Hossack; W H Lowe
Date: 2014-08 | Outlet: Oecologia 176:149–155
Non-consumptive effects (NCE) of predators on prey can be as strong as consumptive effects and may be driven by numerous mechanisms, including predator characteristics. Previous work has highlighted the importance of predator characteristics in predicting NCEs, but has not addressed how complex life histories of prey could mediate predator NCEs. We conducted a meta-analysis to compare the effects of predator gape limitation (gape-limited or not) and hunting mode (active or sit-and-pursue) on the activity, larval period, and size at metamorphosis on larval aquatic amphibians and invertebrates. Larval prey tended to reduce their activity and require more time to reach metamorphosis in the presence of all predator functional groups, but the responses did not differ from zero. Prey metamorphosed at smaller size in response to non-gape-limited, active predators, but counter to expectations, prey metamorphosed larger when confronted by non-gape-limited, sit-and-pursue predators. These results indicate NCEs on larval prey life history can be strongly influenced by predator functional characteristics. More broadly, our results suggest that understanding predator NCEs would benefit from greater consideration of how prey life-history attributes mediate population and community-level outcomes.
Papers & Reports Assessing the efficacy of environmental DNA for detecting presence of imperiled aquatic amphibian species in isolated wetland in the Southeastern US.
Authors: Anna M McKee; Daniel L Calhoun; William J Barichivich; S F Spear; Caren S Goldberg; T C Glenn
Date: 2015-12 | Outlet: Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 6(2):498-510.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an emerging tool that allows low-impact sampling for aquatic species by isolating DNA from water samples and screening for DNA sequences specific to species of interest. However, researchers have not tested this method in naturally acidic wetlands that provide breeding habitat for a number of imperiled species, including the frosted salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum), reticulated flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi), striped newt (Notophthalmus perstriatus), and gopher frog (Lithobates capito). Our objectives for this study were to develop and optimize eDNA survey protocols and assays to complement and enhance capture-based survey methods for these amphibian species. We collected three or more water samples, dipnetted or trapped larval and adult amphibians, and conducted visual encounter surveys for egg masses for target species at 40 sites on 12 different longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) tracts. We used quantitative PCRs to screen eDNA from each site for target species presence. We detected flatwoods salamanders at three sites with eDNA but did not detect them during physical surveys. Based on the sample location we assumed these eDNA detections to indicate the presence of frosted flatwoods salamanders. We did not detect reticulated flatwoods salamanders. We detected striped newts with physical and eDNA surveys at two wetlands. We detected gopher frogs at 12 sites total, three with eDNA alone, two with physical surveys alone, and seven with physical and eDNA surveys. We detected our target species with eDNA at 9 of 11 sites where they were present as indicated from traditional surveys and at six sites where they were not detected with traditional surveys. It was, however, critical to use at least three water samples per site for eDNA. Our results demonstrate eDNA surveys can be a useful complement to traditional survey methods for detecting imperiled pond-breeding amphibians. Environmental DNA may be particularly useful in situations where detection probability using traditional survey methods is low or access by trained personnel is limited.
Papers & Reports Detection of the emerging amphibian pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Ranavirus in Russian amphibians
Authors: A N Reshetnikov; T Chestnut; J L Brunner; K Charles; E E Nebergall; Deanna H Olson
Date: 2014-08 | Outlet: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 110:235-240
In a population of the European common toad Bufo bufo from a rural pond in the region of Lake Glubokoe Regional Reserve in Moscow province, Russia, unexplained mass mortality events involving larvae and metamorphs were observed in several years. We tested toads from this and a nearby site for the emerging amphibian pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Ranavirus (Rv). Both pathogens were detected, and at the site with noted losses and declining toad breeding success, 40% of B. bufo metamorphs were Bd positive, 46% were Rv positive; 20% were co-infected with the both pathogens. Toad metamorphs from the neighbouring water body were also Bd and Rv positive (25 and 55% respectively). This is the first confirmation of these pathogens in Russia. Questions remain as to the origins of these pathogens in Russia and their roles in documented mass mortality events.
Papers & Reports A review of pipe and bamboo artificial refugia as a sampling tool in anuran studies
Authors: Brad M Glorioso; J Hardin Waddle
Date: 2014-12-31 | Outlet: Herpetological Conservation and Biology 9:609-625
Artificial pipe-like refugia have been used by researchers for more than 40 years in anuran studies, and captured 28 species, primarily (82%) hylid treefrogs. Early pipe-like refugia were made using cut pieces of bamboo in the tropical forests of Puerto Rico, but more recent studies have used synthetic pipes and have occurred primarily in the southeastern United States. Although some studies have addressed particular aspects of pipe design, the diverse characteristics of the refugia as well as their placement in the environment have varied greatly, making comparisons among studies difficult. Here, we summarize and evaluate information regarding pipe designs and placement, address potential concerns for researchers, and suggest studies necessary to better interpret the data gained from this technique in anuran studies.
Papers & Reports Biodemography of Ectothermic Tetrapods Provides Insights into the Evolution and Plasticity of Mortality Patterns
Authors: David AW Miller; Fredric J Janzen; Gary M Fellers; Patrick M Kleeman; Anne M Bronikowski
Date: 2014 | Outlet: Sociality, Hierarchy, Health: Comparative Biodemography: Papers from a Workshop: 295-313.
In this paper we examine the biodemography of wild populations of three species (a turtle, a frog, and a snake). All are ectotherms, an understudied subset of the vertebrate taxa for understanding aging. Employing a comparative perspective by examining wild populations of relatively long-lived ectothermic vertebrates, we found that (1) across all three species, there was strong evidence for mortality senescence and (2) environmental factors, including stress, influence age-specific patterns of mortality both in current and later years and therefore produces plastic variation in the shapes of mortality trajectories.
Papers & Reports Animal reintroductions: an innovative assessment of survival
Authors: Erin Muths; Larissa L Bailey; Mary K Watry
Date: 2014-06 | Outlet: Biological Conservation xx:xxx-xxx
Quantitative evaluations of reintroductions are infrequent and assessments of milestones reached before a project is completed, or abandoned due to lack of funding, are rare. However, such assessments, which are promoted in adaptive management frameworks, are critical. Quantification can provide defensible estimates of biological success, such as the number of survivors from a released cohort, with associated cost per animal. It is unlikely that the global issues of endangered wildlife and population declines will abate, therefore, assurance colonies and reintroductions are likely to become more common. If such endeavors are to be successful biologically or achieve adequate funding, implementation must be more rigorous and accountable. We use a novel application of a multistate, robust design capture-recapture model to estimate survival of reintroduced tadpoles through metamorphosis (i.e., the number of individuals emerging from the pond) and thereby provide a quantitative measure of effort and success for an “in progress” reintroduction of toads. Our data also suggest that tadpoles released at later developmental stages have an increased probability of survival and that eggs laid in the wild hatched at higher rates than eggs laid by captive toads. We illustrate how an interim assessment can identify problems, highlight successes, and provide information for use in adjusting the effort or implementing a Decision-Theoretic adaptive management strategy.
Papers & Reports ARMI 2013 Annual Update
Authors: Brian J Halstead; Michael J Adams; Evan HC Grant; Blake R Hossack; K L Smalling; Lianne Ball
Date: 2014-02-17
Welcome to the 2013 Annual ARMI Update, which provides highlights and significant milestones of this innovative program. This was an especially notable year for ARMI with the release of a landmark publication “Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.” Our synthesis and scaling up of 9 years of monitoring data produced the first-ever estimate of how fast frogs, toads and salamanders in the United States are disappearing from their habitats. Our findings received international attention and rekindled the discussion about global amphibian declines. This was not the only topic we addressed this year, as ARMI’s total publication count rose to 460 papers representing our latest research findings on the effects of climate change, land use, diseases, pesticides, and management on amphibian populations.

Full text: armi.usgs.gov/docs/ARMI%202013%20Annual%20Update.pdf