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Adjacent land-use affects amphibian community composition and species richness in managed forests in New Brunswick, Canada

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Abstract:

Here, we examine the effects of adjacent land use in a managed forest on pond-breeding amphibian species richness and community composition at 34 New Brunswick, Canada, ponds. Amphibian species richness was negatively correlated with the proportion of roads, precommercial thinning, and hardwood forest and positively correlated with the proportion of wetlands in adjacent lands. These land-use effects peak at 180 m from the ponds. Road density was negatively correlated with Lithobates catesbeiana and Lithobates septentrionalis presence. Precommercial thinning was negatively correlated with Ambystoma spp. presence and positively correlated with Anaxyrus americanus presence. Wetlands were positively correlated with L. septentrionalis and Notopthalamus viridescens presence. Correlations were also found between water table height and A. americanus, Lithobates palustris, and Ambystoma spp. presence. In addition, L. catesbeiana and N. viridescens presence–absence was positively correlated with the proportion of mature and overmature forest on the landscape (at scales of 500 and 1000 m, respectively). Lastly, the proportion of regenerating and sapling forest on the landscape was negatively correlated with L. palustris presence–absence but, by contrast, was positively correlated with A. americanus. These results suggest that the effects of adjacent land use may significantly impact amphibian populations in managed eastern Canadian forests.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/x11-066

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Education, 327 Marshall D’Avray Hall, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada. 2: Department of Biology, 100 Tucker Park Road, P.O. Box 5050, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB E2L 4L5, Canada.

Publication date: August 28, 2011

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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