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Habitat associations of wood frogs (Rana sylvatica), and effects of fragmentation, in boreal mixedwood forests

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Title: Habitat associations of wood frogs (Rana sylvatica), and effects of fragmentation, in boreal mixedwood forests
Author: Wind, Elke
Degree Master of Science - MSc
Program Forestry
Copyright Date: 1996
Abstract: I studied the habitat associations of wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) and fragmentation in boreal mixedwood forests of north-central Alberta. I sampled wood frogs, measured habitat characteristics, and assessed the general wetness of 10 sites from 1993 to 1995. The 10 sampling sites were in continuous forest in 1993, but through forest harvesting, six of these sites were made isolated fragments surrounded by 200-m wide clear cuts in 1994. The abundance of wood frogs decreased and average body length increased within 10-ha fragments two years post-harvesting compared to 100-ha and control sites. Forest fragmentation reduces the number of wood frogs, especially impacting small individuals, but the presence of wet patches within a site may mitigate the effects. Analyses of habitat indicate that wood frogs are associated with some characteristics of boreal mixedwood forests, perhaps most closely related to coarse woody material (CWM) approximately 5<11 cm in diameter. CWM of this size class is correlated with trembling aspen {Populus tremuloides) that is 23<38 cm diameter at breast height (dbh). I recommend further research into the effects of timber harvesting on migration and dispersal of amphibians, and for determining habitat requirements of amphibians at stand and landscape levels in boreal mixedwood forests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/5758
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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