Relative effects of wetland buffers and landscape composition on water quality and anuran diversity in agricultural wetlands

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  • Farmland ponds can be havens for wetland-dependent wildlife, especially in agricultural regions with high rates of wetland loss. However, diverse wildlife can only persist in these agricultural wetlands if the water is of sufficient quality and if wetlands are surrounded by enough terrestrial habitat for semi-aquatic taxa such as anurans (frogs and toads). Most recommended protection measures for agricultural wetlands fall into one of two categories: (i) conserving a certain percentage of natural vegetation in the surrounding landscape, or (ii) retaining or implementing vegetated buffers between wetlands and adjacent crop fields. We empirically examined the effectiveness of these two strategies. We found that landscape-scale management is key to protecting water quality and anuran diversity in agricultural wetlands, and that for buffers to be effective, they must be larger than current guidelines dictate. Particularly, crop cover should be minimized within 200 m of wetlands, and woodland cover maximized within 1500 m.

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  • Copyright © 2016 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2016


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