Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Advisor's Name

Maureen A. Donnelly

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

Craig Guyer

Advisor's Name

Joel T. Heinen

Advisor's Name

James I. Watling

Keywords

amphibian, treefrog, cypress dome, phenology, matrix, patch, Hyla cinerea, Hyla squirella

Date of Defense

12-9-2011

Abstract

Habitat loss and fragmentation are some of the causes of biodiversity decline. Naturally fragmented landscapes serve as analogues to anthropogenically fragmented landscapes. Recent studies have shown that the matrix between patches has an important role in the dynamics of patch-dwelling species. I studied phenology and habitat utilization of Hyla cinerea and Hyla squirella, the two most common yet understudied frogs, in two patchy landscapes of the Big Cypress National Preserve. Frogs were sampled in five domes and in their adjacent matrix, monthly, between 2006 and 2008. Using nighttime visual encounter surveys, specimens encountered were identified to species, and perch type, perch height and capture location were recorded. Analysis showed differences in abundance and habitat use patterns between patches and matrices for the two species across the two landscapes. These differences indicate that the matrix is important in shaping patterns of abundance and habitat use in fragmented landscapes.

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