The effects of hydropattern and predator communities on amphibian occupancy

Canadian Journal of Zoology
S.A. Amburgey; L.L. Bailey; M. Murphy; E. Muths; W.C. Funk
By: , and 



Complex, interactive ecological constraints regulate species distributions, and understanding these factors is crucial for predicting species persistence. We used occupancy analysis, which corrects for imperfect detection, to test the importance of abiotic and biotic habitat and landscape factors on probability of occupancy by Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata (Agassiz, 1850)) tadpoles. We hypothesized that hydropattern and predators are primarily important because they affect desiccation and predation risk and can interact in ways difficult to predict. We surveyed 62 wetland sites across an elevational gradient in Colorado, USA, and modeled patterns in P. maculata occupancy. Tadpoles were most frequently present in intermediate-length hydropattern systems with lower desiccation risk and no predatory fish because of occasional drying. Pseudacris maculata occupancy had a strong negative relationship with fish presence, while tadpoles, odonate larvae, and Barred Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma mavortium mavortium Baird, 1850) frequently co-occurred. Dry seasonal conditions will likely result in fewer intermediate-length hydropattern ponds available for amphibian breeding. We hypothesize that this will force P. maculata to breed in habitats with fish. As habitats shrink, predators that co-occur with P. maculata are expected to concentrate in the remaining habitat and increase predation risk for developing tadpoles (assuming predators are similarly constricted in their habitat use as amphibians are).

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The effects of hydropattern and predator communities on amphibian occupancy
Series title Canadian Journal of Zoology
DOI 10.1139/cjz-2014-0106
Volume 92
Issue 11
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher National Research Council
Publisher location Ottawa
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Canadian Journal of Zoology
First page 927
Last page 937
Country United States
State Colorado
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details