Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Natural History Study of Bufo a. americanus, the Eastern American Toad, and the Phenology of Spring Breeders in Southwest West Virginia
by Bergstrom, Tomi Maria, M.S., Marshall University, 2010, 107; 1486966
Abstract (Summary)

Natural history traits have not been thoroughly collected and analyzed on the “common hoptoad,” Bufo a. americanus (eastern American toad) in West Virginia. Updating natural history information is important to understand the present population status (Jackson, 2001). I chose to have two study sites at opposing physiographic regions to constitute a better understanding of B. a. americanus natural history in WV. The study was initiated in spring 2008 at Beech Fork State Park and Green Bottom Swamp Wildlife Refuge (in Mason and Cabell counties) and in 2009 incorporated Canaan Valley of Tucker County. Ten natural history morphometrics and characters were recorded from each individual collected. These morphometrics were compared among males from Cabell and Mason counties (mean = 74.4mm) to Tucker County. Males in the Allegheny Mountains had larger snout-vent lengths than those in the Allegheny Plateau (Mean = 74.4). Morphometrics were compared between sexes and females had the following significantly larger characteristics: Snout-vent lengths (p<0.001), tibia lengths (p<0.001), eye diameters (p<0.001), and tympanic membranes. Three Song Meters™ were positioned: Song Meter™ #1 in a permanent pond at Beech Fork State Park, Song Meter™ #2 at a permanent wetland in Green Bottom Wildlife Refuge, Song Meter™ #3 at an ephemeral wetland in Beech Fork State Park. Seven species were recorded calling that provided valuable information on anuran breeding phenology in West Virginia such as their daily calling activity and optimal calling time. Short-term studies such as these can be revolutionary to updating natural history data for species and improving protocols to monitor anurans.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pauley, Thomas
School: Marshall University
School Location: United States -- West Virginia
Source: MAI 49/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Wildlife Conservation, Biology, Conservation
Publication Number: 1486966
ISBN: 978-1-124-29899-3
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