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title Local and Landscape Drivers of Pond-Breeding Amphibian Diversity at the Northern Edge of the Mediterranean
authors Couto, AP; Ferreira, E; Torres, RT; Fonseca, C
author full name Couto, Andre P.; Ferreira, Eduardo; Torres, Rita T.; Fonseca, Carlos
title Local and Landscape Drivers of Pond-Breeding Amphibian Diversity at the Northern Edge of the Mediterranean
nationality internacional
language English
document type Article
author keywords Conservation; Habitat heterogeneity; Hydroperiod; Iberian Peninsula; Traditional farmland; Wetlands
abstract Most amphibian species are highly dependent on available aquatic habitats and their surrounding environments. In this study, we determined which factors influence amphibian diversity in a Mediterranean ecosystem characterized by a mosaic of natural areas and traditional land use. We sampled 60 temporary and permanent ponds in northeastern Portugal, determining amphibian species richness and community composition. At local (5-and 50-m buffers) and landscape (500-m buffer) scales, we analyzed the relationship between these measures and environmental factors describing wetland characteristics, surrounding land cover, habitat heterogeneity, and local road density. Both species richness and community composition were mainly influenced by local factors. Species richness was positively correlated with pond hydroperiod, habitat heterogeneity, and scrub cover within 5 m, and negatively correlated with bare ground coverage and road density within 50 m. Coniferous forest was the only landscape variable explaining species richness with a positive association. Hydroperiod was the most important factor determining community composition, along with aquatic vegetation and several land cover variables. Traditional farmland did not adversely impact amphibian diversity, and instead might provide habitat heterogeneity and breeding sites for amphibians. Our results provide practical information for amphibian conservation and habitat management, and support the view that biodiversity can coexist with traditional farming activities. In similar landscapes, efforts to maintain the diversity of amphibian communities should focus on preserving wetlands and local habitats.
author address [Couto, Andre P.; Ferreira, Eduardo; Torres, Rita T.; Fonseca, Carlos] Univ Aveiro, Dept Biol & CESAM, Campus Santiago, P-3810193 Aveiro, Portugal
reprint address Couto, AP (reprint author), Univ Aveiro, Dept Biol & CESAM, Campus Santiago, P-3810193 Aveiro, Portugal.
e-mail address andrepcouto@ua.pt
funding agency and grant number University of Aveiro (Department of Biology); Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (FCT) [UID/AMB/50017]; European Regional Development Fund; Montesinho Natural Park; Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF); FCT [SFRH/BPD/72895/2010]
funding text We thank the University of Aveiro (Department of Biology) and Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (FCT) for financial support to the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (UID/AMB/50017) through national funds, cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. We thank field assistants, including D. Ramos, J. Bela, J. O'Brien, J. Santos, and M. Alho. J. O'Brien proofread this manuscript and provided helpful suggestions; we also appreciate comments from J. Teixeira and A. Rodrigues. We are grateful for the support provided by Montesinho Natural Park and the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF). EF was supported by a postdoctoral grant from FCT (SFRH/BPD/72895/2010). All animals were captured and handled according to Portuguese law (license 07/2015/CAPT issued by ICNF).
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cited reference count 77
publisher city EMPORIA
issn 0018-0831
29-character source abbreviation HERPETOLOGICA
iso source abbreviation Herpetologica
publication date MAR
year published 2017
volume 73
issue 1
beginning page 10
ending page 17
page count 8
web of science category Zoology
subject category Zoology
document delivery number EN8AU
unique article identifier WOS:000396224100002