Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maine have adopted regulatory zones around seasonal (vernal) pools to conserve terrestrial habitat for pool-breeding amphibians. Most amphibians require access to distinct seasonal habitats in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems because of their complex life histories. These habitat requirements make them particularly vulnerable to land uses that destroy habitat or limit connectivity (or permeability) among habitats. Regulatory efforts focusing on breeding pools without consideration of terrestrial habitat needs will not ensure the persistence of pool-breeding amphibians. We used GIS to combine a discrete-choice, parcel-scale economic model of land conversion with a landscape permeability model based on known habitat requirements of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) in Maine (USA) to examine permeability among habitat elements for alternative future scenarios. The economic model predicts future landscapes under different subdivision open space and vernal pool regulatory requirements. Our model showed that even “no build” permit zones extending 76 m (250 ft) outward from the pool edge were insufficient to assure permeability among required habitat elements. Furthermore, effectiveness of permit zones may be inconsistent due to interactions with other growth management policies, highlighting the need for local and state planning for the long-term persistence of pool-breeding amphibians in developing landscapes.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Incorporating incorporating economic models into seasonal pool conservation planning|
|Publisher||Society of Wetland Scientists|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Leetown|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|