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Integrating monitoring and modeling of ecological responses to ecosystems in Picayune Strand and southwest Florida: Amphibian community component

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Metadata:


Identification_Information:
Citation:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Susan Walls, Frank J. Mazzotti, Kristen Hart, Melinda Schuman
Publication_Date: 2012
Title:
Integrating monitoring and modeling of ecological responses to ecosystems in Picayune Strand and southwest Florida: Amphibian community component
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: maps and data
Online_Linkage:
https://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/index.php?project_url=eco_response
Description:
Abstract:
Prior to extensive drainage, wetlands historically covered approximately 50% of Florida (Mulholland et al., 1997). The present-day landscape of southwest Florida still contains a matrix of diverse wetland types that vary in hydroperiod, ranging from permanent to seasonally ephemeral, isolated sites. The latter are important breeding sites for many amphibians, although ephemeral wetlands have received little or no mention in most summaries of the expected effects of climate change on freshwater systems (e.g., Mulholland et al., 1997; Meyer et al., 1999; Allan et al., 2005; Bates et al., 2008). Amphibians are important 'bioindicators' of habitat suitability and ecosystem restoration success (Waddle, 2006): they are sensitive to changes in the environment, especially those having to do with water quantity and quality. Because amphibian reproduction is so tightly tied with the aquatic habitat, changes in hydrology are perhaps the biggest threat to most species. Indeed, freshwater wetlands of varying types are considered 'optimal' habitat for 95% of the species of anurans and 64% of the species of salamanders found in the southeast U.S. (Bailey et al., 2006). Amphibians are also abundant and readily sampled with established methods. When several species of amphibians are evaluated together, the species composition is a good indicator of habitat quality.

The DOI Science Plan for CERP and the research areas outlined by the BAA request for proposals described a need for scientific research that will develop models that can be used as tools to evaluate restoration alternatives and assess restoration outcomes. Because hydrology is a major driving factor in Everglades habitats, our focus in prior funding was to create a model of amphibian occupancy in relation to hydrology and habitat, to be used as a restoration evaluation tool. We collected data on amphibian distributions by habitat and hydrology in Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Fakahatchee Strand State Reserve and Picayune Strand State Forest. These data were collected for analysis, along with hydrological data, to produce an ecological model of occupancy of amphibian communities. The goal was for this community level occupancy rate to serve as an index, a target for restoration assessment and, in a spatial framework, as a tool for evaluation of alternatives.

This community index model of amphibians throughout southwest Florida, called the Stressor Response Model for Southwest Florida Amphibians, is currently being finalized. Estimates of the proportion of sites occupied by amphibian species in various habitats under different hydrologic conditions will elucidate patterns and lead to the creation of an amphibian community index. This index can then be used to predict the effects of various water management scenarios on the amphibian community.

This model also serves as a promising tool for assessing the potential impact of climate change on amphibians occupying a hydrologically modified/restored landscape. Climate change may influence the hydrology of freshwater wetlands by altering patterns of precipitation, groundwater levels, evapotranspiration, and the frequency and intensity of fires. Variation in these factors may interact with various community characteristics (e.g., community type, canopy cover) to further influence site hydroperiod. For instance, Mulholland et al. (1997) predicted that large increases in summer precipitation during the wet season in south Florida may lead to extensive pine flatwoods/cypress swamp areas becoming dominated by pond cypress, and extensive areas of sawgrass marsh being converted to open water. Modification of wetland hydroperiod ultimately affects the presence of fish and invertebrate predators on larval amphibians, larval growth, survival and, ultimately, the species richness of amphibians at a site. The Stressor Response Model can potentially be used to predict how amphibians may respond under different climate change scenarios.
Purpose:
Our long-term objective in the present study is to validate this newly-developed model with respect to predicted responses of an amphibian community to hydrologic and habitat restoration at a focal site. Two objectives in prior funding were (1) to define amphibian communities appropriate for evaluating restoration success and (2) to develop restoration targets for the amphibian community of southwest Florida. With that funding, we identified two anuran species (the Pinewoods treefrog, Hyla femoralis and the Barking treefrog, Hyla gratiosa) that are particularly sensitive as indicators of suitable pine flatwoods habitat. However, with encroaching climate change, the hydric pine flatwoods of south Florida are specifically predicted to be converted to sites dominated by pond cypress (Mulholland et al., 1997). Moreover, only approximately 12% of the historic (ca. 1940) pinelands in some regions of southwest Florida remains (Mazotti et al., 1992, sensu Pearlstine et al., 1995). During our prior effort we also identified the habitat targeted in CERP’s Picayune Strand Hydrologic Restoration project as being well suited for testing the predictions of our model with regards to the potential responses of H. femoralis and H. gratiosa to restoration of the hydrologically degraded habitat in Picayune Strand State Forest. Our specific objectives are to:

*Estimate amphibian site occupancy in the degraded areas of Picayune Strand State Forest (former site of the Southern Golden Gates development project), versus occupancy on adjacent conservation lands with relatively intact hydrology (the Belle Meade Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) area and the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve).

*Use these occupancy estimates to validate the Stressor Response Model for Southwest Florida Amphibians by forecasting the potential responses of H. femoralis and H. gratiosa, along with the rest of the amphibian community, to the planned hydrological restoration of the Picayune Strand.

*Refine the model to address how, under a changing climate, variation in meterological factors may impact the hydrology of sites and, thus, their occupancy by amphibians.
Time_Period_of_Content:
Time_Period_Information:
Range_of_Dates/Times:
Beginning_Date: 2010
Ending_Date: 2012
Currentness_Reference: ground condition
Status:
Progress: Complete
Maintenance_and_Update_Frequency: Unknown
Spatial_Domain:
Description_of_Geographic_Extent:
Picayune Strand State Forest, Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve and elsewhere in Collier County, southwest Florida
Bounding_Coordinates:
West_Bounding_Coordinate: -81.67
East_Bounding_Coordinate: -81.34
North_Bounding_Coordinate: 26.15
South_Bounding_Coordinate: 25.87
Keywords:
Theme:
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: none
Theme_Keyword: amphibians
Theme_Keyword: ecological response
Theme_Keyword: habitat restoration
Theme_Keyword: community index
Theme_Keyword: hydrology
Theme_Keyword: Stressor Response Model
Theme_Keyword: climate change
Theme_Keyword: pine flatwoods
Theme:
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: ISO 19115 Topic Category
Theme_Keyword: biota
Theme_Keyword: environment
Theme_Keyword: inlandwaters
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus: none
Place_Keyword: Picayune Strand State Forest
Place_Keyword: Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve
Place_Keyword: Collier County
Place_Keyword: Southwest Florida
Taxonomy:
Keywords/Taxon:
Taxonomic_Keyword_Thesaurus: None
Taxonomic_Keywords: amphibians
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Kingdom
Taxon_Rank_Value: Animalia
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Phylum
Taxon_Rank_Value: Chordata
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Class
Taxon_Rank_Value: Amphibia
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Order
Taxon_Rank_Value: Anura
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Family
Taxon_Rank_Value: Hylidae
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Genus
Taxon_Rank_Value: Hyla
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: Species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Hyla femoralis
Applicable_Common_Name: Pinewoods Treefrog
Taxonomic_Classification:
Taxon_Rank_Name: species
Taxon_Rank_Value: Hyla gratiosa
Applicable_Common_Name: Barking Treefrog
Access_Constraints: None
Use_Constraints:
Cite primary authors and database when using or publishing these data
Point_of_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: Susan Walls
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: mailing and physical
Address: 7920 NW 71st Street
City: Gainesville
State_or_Province: FL
Postal_Code: 32652
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 352-264-3507
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 352-395-6608
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: swalls@usgs.gov
Browse_Graphic:
Browse_Graphic_File_Name:
https://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/workplans09/images/ecoresponse_fig1x.gif
Browse_Graphic_File_Description:
Conceptual model of the pathways through which climate change may impact amphibian reproductive success, population fluctuations, site occupancy and, thus, community species richness. The hydroperiod of a breeding site is the principal factor influencing amphibian site occupancy. Climate change may modify several meteorological factors and their interplay with characteristics of the community–to influence site hydroperiod
Browse_Graphic_File_Type: GIF
Browse_Graphic:
Browse_Graphic_File_Name:
https://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/workplans09/images/ecoresponse_fig2x.gif
Browse_Graphic_File_Description:
Predicted scenario of consequences of future climate change for freshwater ecosystems in south Florida. From Mulholland et al. (1997)
Browse_Graphic_File_Type: GIF
Browse_Graphic:
Browse_Graphic_File_Name:
https://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/workplans09/images/ecoresponse_fig3x.gif
Browse_Graphic_File_Description:
Mean species richness of anuran amphibians in 2008 across the three proposed study areas. Mean richness was significantly lower in Picayune Strand State Forest, the site targeted for hydrological restoration. Species richness in the two reference areas (the Belle Meade Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) area and the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve) was statistically similar
Browse_Graphic_File_Type: GIF
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Allan, J.D., M. Palmer, and N.L. Poff.
Publication_Date: 2005
Title: Climate Change and Freshwater Ecosystems
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Other_Citation_Details: Pages 274-290
Larger_Work_Citation:
Citation_Information:
Originator: T.E. Lovejoy and L. Hannah, eds.
Publication_Date: 2005
Title: Climate Change and Biodiversity
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Publication_Information:
Publication_Place: New Haven, CT, USA
Publisher: Yale University Press
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Bailey, M.A., J.N. Holmes, K.A. Buhlmann, and J.C. Mitchell.
Publication_Date: 2006
Title:
Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Southeastern United States.
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Other_Citation_Details:
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Technical Publication HMG-2, Montgomery, Alabama. 88 pp.
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Bates, B.C., Z.W. Kundzewicz, S. Wu, and J.P. Palutikof (eds.)
Publication_Date: 2008
Title: Climate Change and Water
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Publication_Information:
Publication_Place: Geneva, Switzerland
Publisher: IPCC Secretariat
Other_Citation_Details:
Technical Paper of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 210 pp.
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Burnham, K.P. and D. R. Anderson.
Publication_Date: 1998
Title:
Model selection and multi-model interference: A practical information-theoretic approach
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Publication_Information:
Publication_Place: New York, NY
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator:
MacKenzie, D.I., J.D. Nichols, G.B. Lachman, S. Droege, J.A. Royle, and C.A. Langtimm.
Publication_Date: 2002
Title:
Estimating site occupancy rates when detection probabilities are less than one
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Series_Information:
Series_Name: Ecology
Issue_Identification: 83: 2248-2256
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator:
Mazzotti, F.J., L.A. Brandt, L.G. Pearlstine, W.M. Kitchens, T.A. Obreza, F.C. Depkin, N.E. Morris and C.E. Arnold.
Publication_Date: 1992
Title:
An evaluation of the regional effects of new citrus development on the ecological integrity of wildlife resource in southwest Florida
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Other_Citation_Details:
Final report. South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Meyer, J.L., M.J. Sale, P.J. Mulholland, and N.L Poff.
Publication_Date: 1999
Title:
Impacts of climate change on aquatic ecosystem functioning and health
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Series_Information:
Series_Name: Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue_Identification: 35: 1373-1386
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator:
Mulholland, P.J., G.R. Best, C.C. Coutant, G.M. Hornberger, J.L. Meyer, P.J. Robinson, J.R. Stenberg, R.E. Turner, F. Vera-Herrera, and R.G. Wetzel.
Publication_Date: 1997
Title:
Effects of climate change on freshwater ecosystems of the South-Eastern United States and the Gulf Coast of Mexico
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Series_Information:
Series_Name: Hydrological Processes
Issue_Identification: 11: 949-970
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator:
Pearlstine, L.G., L.A. Brandt, W.M. Kitchens, and F.J. Mazzotti.
Publication_Date: 1995
Title: Impacts of citrus development on habitats of Southwest Florida
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Series_Information:
Series_Name: Conservation Biology
Issue_Identification: 9: 1020-1032
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator: RECOVER
Publication_Date: 2006
Title:
Monitoring and Assessment Plan (MAP), Part 2, 2006 Assessment Strategy for the MAP, Final Draft.
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Other_Citation_Details:
Restoration Coordination and Verification Program, c/o United States Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, Jacksonville, FL, and South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, FL. December 2006.
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Root, T.L. and S.H. Schneider
Publication_Date: 2006
Title: Conservation and climate change: the challenges ahead
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Series_Information:
Series_Name: Conservation Biology
Issue_Identification: 20:706-708
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Waddle, J.H.
Publication_Date: 2006
Title: Use of amphibians as ecosystem indicator species
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Publication_Information:
Publication_Place: Gainesville, FL
Publisher: University of Florida
Other_Citation_Details: Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation
Cross_Reference:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Williams, B.K., J.D. Nichols, and M.J. Conroy.
Publication_Date: 2002
Title: Analysis and management of animal populations.
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: publication
Publication_Information:
Publication_Place: London
Publisher: Academic Press

Data_Quality_Information:
Logical_Consistency_Report: Unknown
Completeness_Report: Unknown
Lineage:
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
Task 1: Validation of amphibian models for use in the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study: Evaluation of prerestoration communities and potential impacts of climate change

We propose to conduct surveys for anuran amphibians at sites in Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve and Picayune Strand State Forest. These data will be used to generate unbiased estimates of site occupancy for all species detected, but our primary focus will be on the Pinewoods and Barking treefrogs. In years one and two of our work, we will conduct two types of surveys: (1) visual and aural (auditory) surveys for adult anuran amphibians and (2) dipnet and trapping surveys for tadpoles and the presence of predatory fish and invertebrates. Detection of adults at a site indicates the presence of a species at a given site, but it does not provide information about the reproductive success or persistence of a species at a site. Thus, the results of our dipnet and trapping efforts will be used to evaluate various components of our conceptual model (Figure 1), such as the impact of site hydroperiod on the presence of predatory invertebrates and fishes, and the reproductive success (larval growth, metamorphosis and survival) of amphibians. These components, in turn, influence site occupancy and overall species richness of the community at a site

Our standardized sampling unit will be a circular plot of 20-m radius. Plots will be sampled after dark to increase the probability of observing nocturnal amphibians. At each plot a two person crew will begin by listening for anuran vocalizations for 10 minutes. The abundance of each species will be categorized as: no frogs calling, one frog calling, 2-5 calling, 6-10 calling, >10 calling, or large chorus. The intensity of the vocalizations will be categorized as: no frogs calling, occasional, frequent, or continuous. After the vocalization survey, we will perform a 30-minute visual encounter survey (VES) in each plot. During this time, all individual amphibians observed will be identified to species and captured if possible. We will record the species, categorize the age (egg, larvae, juvenile, subadult, or adult), measure and record the snout-to-vent length and record the sex if it can be determined. The animal will then be released at the original capture site. We also will record the substrate and perch height of the animal. A University of Florida Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval will be obtained for animal capture. In addition to VES, in plots that are completely flooded, we will use dipnets and funnel traps to attempt to capture aquatic amphibians, fishes and invertebrates. All amphibians captured will be counted, identified to species and stage of development and measured for body size (total lenth). We also will record several environmental variables at each plot (air temperature, relative humidity, presence of water, water temperature, wind speed, cloud cover).

Individual species capture histories (matrix of detections/nondetections of each species at each sampling occasion of each plot) and corresponding covariates (e.g. habitat, hydrological parameters, temperature, relative humidity, etc.) will be assembled. We will then estimate the proportion of each stratum occupied by a species and the capture probability using maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) with logistic regression for covariates in program PRESENCE (MacKenzie et al., 2002). Information-theoretic methods for model selection based on Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC) will be employed (Burnham and Anderson, 1998). The best model will minimize AIC and adequately estimate the parameters in the model (the candidate model list will be developed a priori based on ecological knowledge and will not include all possible combinations).
Process_Date: Unknown

Distribution_Information:
Distributor:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: Heather S. Henkel
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: mailing and physical
Address: 600 Fourth Street South
City: St. Petersburg
State_or_Province: FL
Postal_Code: 33701
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 727-502-8028
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 727-502-8182
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: sofia-metadata@usgs.gov
Distribution_Liability: The data have no explicit or implied guarantees

Metadata_Reference_Information:
Metadata_Date: 20140922
Metadata_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: Heather S. Henkel
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: mailing and physical
Address: 600 Fourth Street South
City: St. Petersburg
State_or_Province: FL
Postal_Code: 33701
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 727-502-8028
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 727-502-8182
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: hhenkel@usgs.gov
Metadata_Standard_Name:
FGDC Biological Data Profile of the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata
Metadata_Standard_Version: FGDC-STD-001.1-1999
Metadata_Access_Constraints: None
Metadata_Use_Constraints:
The SOFIA staff were unable to contact the principal investigator(s) for this project, and therefore were unable to obtain a review of the information in the metadata record. Any questions about the information should be directed to the Primary Contact Person listed near the bottom of the metadata record. This metadata record may have been copied from the SOFIA website and may not be the most recent version. Please check <https://sofia.usgs.gov/metadata> to be sure you have the most recent version.

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