The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 04. Waterbody availability and use by amphibian communities in a rural landscape

328 downloads

Open Access

pp. 13-21
Authors: Plăiaşu, Rodica and Băncilă, Raluca and Samoilă, Ciprian and Hartel, Tibor and Cogălniceanu, Dan

Abstract: Rural landscapes in central and eastern Europe provide valuable ecosystem services and support high levels of biodiversity. These landscapes face an increasing pressure from human development and changes in agricultural practices. Pond-breeding amphibians and their breeding habitats are especially vulnerable to land-use changes. We studied waterbody use by amphibians in a rural landscape from Haţeg Geopark, Central Romania, a region where large areas are still under traditional land use. We surveyed 55 waterbodies, characterized them and their surrounding terrestrial habitats with 22 variables. Amphibians were more sensitive to waterbody-related variables than to landscape parameters. Man-made waterbodies had lower species richness than natural ones, but often represent the only breeding habitats available. The low importance of the landscape variables for amphibians is the result of traditional and environment-friendly land management, which maintains a mosaic landscape where the optimal terrestrial habitats for amphibians are still well represented.

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