Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor's Name

Maureen A. Donnelly

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Craig Guyer

Third Advisor's Name

Joel T. Heinen

Keywords

treefrog, hylid, amphibian, community composition, assemblage, habitat use, swamp, La Selva, Costa Rica

Date of Defense

11-10-2011

Abstract

Swamp-breeding treefrogs form conspicuous components of many tropical forest sites, yet remain largely understudied. The La Selva Biological Station, a rainforest reserve in Costa Rica, harbors a rich swamp-breeding treefrog fauna that has been studied in only one of the many swamps found at the site. To understand if the species composition of treefrogs at La Selva varies over space or time, frogs were censused in 1982-83, 1994-95, 2005 and 2011 at two ponds located in the reserve. Data on treefrog habitat utilization were also collected. Species composition varied spatially only in 2011. Temporal variation was observed at both ponds for all groups tested. Habitat use varied among species and between swamps. The pattern of variation suggests that temporally dynamic systems such as temporary Neotropical forest swamps will converge and diverge in species composition over time.

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