Highlighting the effects of land-use change on a threatened amphibian in a human-dominated landscape - HAL-SDE - Sciences de l'environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Population Ecology Year : 2015

Highlighting the effects of land-use change on a threatened amphibian in a human-dominated landscape

Abstract

In Western Europe, habitat loss and landscape fragmentation has led to significant population decline in various animal groups, including amphibians. The extinc- tion of the last natural populations of the yellow-bellied toad in Belgium, Luxembourg and several regions of southern and western France suggests a widespread decline. By using site-occupancy models and adding covariates corresponding to the human-influenced features of the landscape, we tried to identify the relative effects of different land-use types on the species’ distribution pattern in a man-made environment (the Alsatian Rhine floodplain in France). We recorded presence–absence data in 150 forest sample plots (300 9 300 m) and then modeled species distribution while taking into account detection errors in the field. Land-use was recorded on two spatial scales: within the forest sample plots and in a 1500 m radius buffer area around the forest plots. In the forest plots, toad occurrence was negatively correlated with loss of forest cover to agricultural land. In contrast, occurrence is positively correlated with the density of human-made rutted dirt paths and tracks, which provide semi-natural breeding sites. In the 1500 m radius buffer zones around forest plots, toad occurrence was negatively correlated with the density of urbanization and road net- works. These results can be used to plan conservation strategies for amphibians in human-dominated landscapes.
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Dates and versions

hal-01327813 , version 1 (07-06-2016)

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Hugo Cayuela, Julie Lambrey, Jean-Pierre Vacher, Claude Miaud. Highlighting the effects of land-use change on a threatened amphibian in a human-dominated landscape. Population Ecology, 2015, 57, pp.433-443. ⟨10.1007/s10144-015-0483-4⟩. ⟨hal-01327813⟩
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