Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Invasive plants and native amphibians: The implications for amphibian conservation in eastern North America
by Regula Meyer, Lisa, Ph.D., Kent State University, 2013, 246; 3618851
Abstract (Summary)

Humans introduce non-native plants to new areas at an increasing rate with the increased movement across the globe. These invasive species can become mono-cultures and extremely different from the native floral community. Amphibians, at the same time, are facing global declines with approximately one-third of all amphibians threatened or endangered. Due to the importance of amphibians as prey items for many vertebrates including small birds, mammals, and reptiles, and also predator controls over many invertebrates, including some pest species, the decline of amphibians has large implications for many environments. This study looks at a range of interactions between two invasive plants ( Typha angustifolia and Phragmites australis) and two native anurans (Lithobates clamitans and Lithobates catesbeianus).

As ecosystem engineers, plants form the basis of many communities, and sculpt the physical environment by adding complexity to the earth's surface. They also add chemical constituents either actively or passively too ward off other competitors. This change in the environment on both the chemical and physical level leads to complex possibilities for a changed plant community to impact the rest of the ecosystem, including amphibians. I focus on the physical changes by looking at behavior of amphibians in these invasive plant mono-cultures and non-invaded controls, and their appearance in invaded and non-invaded wetlands, both constructed and naturally occurring. On the chemical side of the matter, I monitor water chemistry measures in natural and constructed wetlands that are either lacking invasive plants or have a substantial presence of these plants, and correlate those measures with tadpole growth and survival.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rocha, Oscar
Commitee:
School: Kent State University
Department: Biological Sciences
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Ecology, Conservation, Zoology
Keywords: Amphibian declines, Community ecology, Community interactions, Invasive plants
Publication Number: 3618851
ISBN: 9781303873706
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