Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020ND083B

Influence of habitat characteristics on amphibian stress and reproductive success in North Dakota

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-02-29 End Date: 2021-02-27
Total Federal Funds: $2,685 Total Non-Federal Funds: $5,370

Principal Investigators: Matthew Smith

Abstract: As amphibians continue to decline, conservation efforts are a necessity in management plans. It is essential to determine the causation between water characteristics, stress, and habitat alteration with anuran losses. Substantial portions of these diverse wetlands across the state of North Dakota are being lost to agriculture at unprecedented rates and as a result, habitat for these species is becoming altered or disappearing completely. Larval and visual encounter surveys will be conducted to distinguish the essential habitat characteristics that are crucial during each stage of amphibian reproduction. In addition to collecting amphibian data, macro-and micro-habitat data will be recorded at each site. Habitat characteristics collected can be separated into three categories: aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates (aquatic community composition), vegetation and landscape characteristics, and abiotic (physiochemical) variables. Any or all these characteristics could be influencing anuran, environmental stress at these sites. Individuals that are captured will have their blood drawn and water samples collected to assess this environmental stress. Data from this project will provide insights into breeding habitat preference in anuran species while assessing glucocorticoid levels throughout adult and larval individuals. Ultimately, this data will assess how North Dakota water quality influences amphibian stress and reproductive success.