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Use of Amphibian Communities as Indicators of Restoration Success in the Greater Everglades

photo of a group of palm trees in a prairie
Project Investigators: Susan Walls, Hardin Waddle

Project Personnel: William Barichivich, Brad Glorioso

Project Start Date: 2004 End Date: 2012

Recent Funding: (FY12) USGS GE PES, (FY07) ENP CESI, USGS GE PES, (FY06) ENP CESI, USGS GE PES, (FY05) USACE CERP/MAP, USGS GE PES, (FY04) USGS GE PES, (FY03) ENP CESI, USGS GE PES


Summary

We will investigate survival, movement, and density, develop new methods for sampling across hydroperiod gradients, and use newly developed statistical techniques to estimate the proportion of area occupied by and to define amphibian communities.

Amphibians are present in all habitats and under all hydrologic regimes in the Everglades. The species present and the occupancy rate of a given species differ greatly across those gradients. These differences are due to hydropattern, vegetation, and other environmental factors. The combination of species composition and proportion of each habitat occupied at a given time form unique communities defined by those environmental factors. Therefore, if these communities can be reliably defined and measured, Everglades restoration success can be evaluated. This project will develop methodologies for defining and measuring the membership and area occupancy of amphibian communities. Further, we will investigate the relationship of occupancy, survival, movement probability, and density of amphibians with hydroperiod and other environmental factors. Finally, we will provide a method for measuring restoration success based on these communities.

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