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Estimation of metademographic rates and landscape connectivity for a conservation-reliant anuran

May 23, 2020


Amphibian conservation efforts commonly assume populations are tied to waterbodies that collectively function as a metapopulation. This assumption is rarely evaluated, and there is a need to understand the degree of connectivity among patches to appropriately define, manage, and conserve biological populations.


Our objectives were to quantify local persistence, colonization, and recruitment (metademographic rates) in relation to habitat attributes, evaluate the influence of the spatial arrangement of patches on landscape-scale population dynamics, and estimate the scale at which metapopulation dynamics are occurring for Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa).


We collected R. pretiosa detection/non-detection data and habitat information from 93 sites spread throughout the species’ extant range in Oregon, USA, 2010–2018. We developed a spatial multistate dynamic occupancy model to analyze these data.


The proportion of sites occupied by R. pretiosa was relatively stable despite regular turnover in site occupancy. Connectivity was greatest when the distance between sites was within 4.49–7.70 km, and the results suggested that populations within 1 km are at the appropriate spatial scale for effective population management. Rana pretiosa metademographic rates were strongly tied to water availability, vegetation characteristics, and beaver dams.


Our analysis provides critical information to identify the appropriate spatial scale for effective population management, estimates the distance at which populations are connected, and quantifies the effects of hypothesized threats to species at a landscape scale. We believe this model will prove to be useful to inform conservation and management strategies for multiple species.

Publication Year 2020
Title Estimation of metademographic rates and landscape connectivity for a conservation-reliant anuran
DOI 10.1007/s10980-020-01030-8
Authors Adam Duarte, James Peterson, Christopher Pearl, Jennifer Christine Rowe, Brome McCreary, Stephanie Galvan, Michael J. Adams
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Landscape Ecology
Index ID 70228493
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle; Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center