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Amphibians are sensitive to changes in land use because they require both upland terrestrial habitat and aquatic wetland habitat to complete their life cycle. Our previous work demonstrates that land-use change including road density, development, and wetland area impact amphibian diversity. We build upon this previous work to examine the relative influences of these factors across different landscape scales. Incorporating scale within our model allows us to explore by which mechanism different factors impact amphibians (e.g. do roads increase roadkill in the immediate surrounding area or do they isolate populations at the larger scale?). North American amphibian monitoring program (NAAMP) compiles data from standardized roadside surveys of calling frogs and toads across the majority of the contiguous United States to examine the impacts of human activity on amphibian populations over time. In this study we used NAAMP call data from 18 eastern U.S. states and National Land Cover Data to address the following research questions 1) How is the impact of road length and landscape change mediated by distance from the habitat and 2) how do species differ in the relative influence of these effects over the landscape? We quantified landscape features (e.g., habitat types, wetland –forest connectivity, road density and arrangement) using a GIS program and calculated amphibian diversity estimates of each survey at six locations ranging from 300 meters (local scale, the core terrestrial habitat) to 10, 000 meters (associations should decline at this distance). This approached allows us to explore the relative influence of factors at the regional level to build a predictive model to answer our research questions. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation, Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science program coordinated by David Marsh and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.
Ecology, Conservation, Amphibians, Land use
Current Academic Year
Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
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VCU Undergraduate Research Posters
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