amphibians and forested wetlands n.
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Amphibians and Forested Wetlands

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Amphibians and Forested Wetlands

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  1. AmphibiansandForested Wetlands Washington Department of FISH AND WILDLIFE Marc P. Hayes

  2. Forested Wetland Amphibians • NO PNW amphibian studies have focused specifically on forested wetlands MAJOR DATA GAP: Amphibian species richness and relative abundance among forested wetland categories virtually unknown

  3. Why the Data Gap? • Wetland studies exist, BUT • Estuarine and stillwater emphasis • Foci - Open (non-forested) habitats: estuaries saline; most easily sampled habitat in freshwaters • Biases: Amphibians rare in bogs • Ignorance of selected wetland types (e.g., sloping fens)

  4. Truth? Amphibians and Forested Wetlands Diverse in PNW

  5. Flowing water Ian Britton Uplands Alfred University or Stillwater National Park Service Amphibian Diversity Based in part on use of reproductive habitat:

  6. Reproduction ONLY Part of Story Reproductive Habitat Active-Season Habitat Overwintering Habitat

  7. Forested Wetland Amphibians • 19 (76%) amphibian species in Washington have a high likelihood of using forested wetland habitat for at least one of their life stages

  8. Forested Wetland Amphibians • All 7 FFR amphibians in Washington have been documented using forested wetland habitat for at least one of their life stages

  9. FW/FFR Amphibian Species Richness 2/0 11/3 13/3 10/1 1/0 14/4 14/3 2/1

  10. Forest WetlandSystems Forest Management Vegetation Geology Climate Hydrology Light/Heat Organic Matter Nutrients Substrate Physical Habitat Features Nutrient Availability Biological Production Amphibian Abundance and Survival

  11. Potential Changesin Forested Wetlands • Watered area or hydroperiod • Succession • Organic storage or nutrient inputs • Exotic biota • Other possibilities Leads to changes in amphibian abundance or species richness?

  12. Seep Area and Torrentor Seep Salamander Density

  13. Consequence of Watered Area or Hydroperiod Changes • Decreases in watered areas may reduce: available habitat (temporary?) number of habitat units (local extirpation?) • Increases in watered areas may: increase available habitat reduce distinguishable habitat unit • Decreases in hydroperiod may: eliminate longer-hydroperiod requiring species alter refuge habitat quality for some species • Increases in hydroperiod may: add longer-hydroperiod requiring species increase accessibility of fish and exotics

  14. Consequence of Successional Changes • Increased shading of stillwater forested wetlands (i.e., bogs and fens) may reduce diversity of stillwater-breeding amphibians. • Decrease shading may do the reverse assuming all else is equal • Increased shading of flowing water forested wetlands may reduce the relatively abundance of grazing amphibian • Decrease shading of flowing water forested wetlands may do the reverse assuming all else is equal

  15. Consequence of Organic Storage or Nutrient Changes • Increased nutrient loading may accelerate succession in bogs or fens, which could alter the diversity stillwater-breeding amphibians If a bog was pH limited (3.8 or below), such loading may at least initially increase stillwater- breeding amphibians diversity. If a bog was not pH limited, such loading may decrease the stillwater amphibian diversity. • Increased woody debris/slash may favor stillwater- breeding amphibians that use such for reproduction or refuge

  16. Tailed Frogs (Ascaphus) 2 Species in Washington All FFR Species W. P. Leonard H. Welsh Life History: Larvae: grazers in flowing water Juveniles and adults: insectivorous, can use aquatic or terrestrial habitats Adults reproduce in moderate to high flow habitats

  17. Tailed Frogs: Habitat Picture Reproduction: Streams Active-Season: ?????? Overwintering: ??????

  18. Torrent or Seep Salamanders (Rhyacotriton) 3 Species in Washington All FFR Species W. P. Leonard Life History: Larvae, Juveniles and Adults: insectivorous, use wet or saturated habitats Reproduction in low flow habitats

  19. Torrent or Seep Salamanders: Habitat Picture Reproduction: Seeps?? Streams?? Active-Season: Seeps, Springs and Streams Overwintering: ??????

  20. Lungless Salamanders Van Dyke’s Salamander (Plethodon vandykei) FFR Species W. P. Leonard Life History: Juveniles and Adults: insectivorous, use saturated or dripping wet habitats No larval stage (direct development), reproduction in moist terrestrial site; female parental care

  21. Van Dyke’s Salamander: Habitat Picture Reproduction: Moist LWD?? or Talus?? Active-Season: Highly Wetted Sites?? Overwintering: ??????

  22. Lungless Salamanders: Dunn’s Salamander (Plethodon dunni) FFR Species Matthew G. Hunter Life History: Juveniles and Adults: insectivorous, use moist stream margin habitats No larval stage (direct development), reproduction in moist terrestrial site; female parental care

  23. Dunn’s Salamander:Habitat Picture Reproduction: Moist LWD?? or Talus?? Active-Season: Highly Wetted Sites?? Overwintering: ??????

  24. Giant Salamanders (Dicamptodon) Cope’s Giant Salamander 2 Non-FFRSpecies W. P. Leonard Coastal Giant Salamander W. P. Leonard Life History: Larvae, Juveniles and Adults: insectivorous Larvae: streams Juveniles and Adults: moist terrestrial habitats Reproduction: streams; female parental care

  25. Other Lungless Salamanders 3 Non-FFRSpecies Western Red-backed Salamander Ensatina W. P. Leonard W. P. Leonard W. P. Leonard Larch Mt. Salamander Life History: Juveniles and Adults: insectivorous, use moist terrestrial habitats No larval stage (direct development), reproduction in moist terrestrial site; female parental care

  26. Ranid or True Frogs (Rana) 2 Non-FFRSpecies Northern Red-legged Frog W. P. Leonard Cascades Frog  W. P. Leonard Life History: Larvae: pond grazers Juveniles/Adults: insectivorous-carnivorous Larvae: ponds Juveniles and Adults: moist terrestrial or aquatic habitats Reproduction: open stillwater habitats

  27. Other Frogs and Toads 2 Non-FFRSpecies Pacific Treefrog or Chorus Frog Western Toad Life History: Larvae: pond grazers Juveniles/Adults: insectivorous-carnivorous Larvae: ponds Juveniles and Adults: moist terrestrial habitats Reproduction: open stillwater habitats

  28. Other Salamanders 3 Non-FFRSpecies Long-toed Salamander Northwestern Salamander R. B. Forbes Rough-skinned Newt Life History: Larvae/Juveniles/Adults: insectivorous-carnivorous Larvae: ponds Juveniles and Adults: moist terrestrial habitats Reproduction: stillwater habitats

  29. Key Needs • Life-stage specific diversity of amphibians across forested wetlands types needs to be understood. • For FFR amphibian taxa, the biggest gaps in potential significant use of forested wetlands is as active-season or overwintering habitat • Selected potentially high sensitivity forested wetlands categories (e.g., sloping fens) need study to address their importance to selected FFR species (e.g., Van Dyke’s salamander).