invasive species, amphibians, Cuban Treefrog, manufactured ponds
Exotic amphibians are often detrimental to native biotas. In Florida, the exotic Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) eats native frogs and may outcompete them for resources. Cuban Treefrogs thrive in disturbed areas and around buildings, and often breed in manufactured wetlands such as retention ponds and borrow pits. This study identified limnological, landscape, and biotic characteristics that discouraged pond use by Cuban Treefrogs and promoted use by native amphibian species. I sampled natural and manufactured ponds in Orange County, Florida, for one year, using standard methods to estimate the species richness and relative abundance of amphibians and their potential fish and macroinvertebrate predators. I determined the relationship between the presence of Cuban Treefrogs and twelve limnological (% vegetation, slope, pond age, pH, % dissolved oxygen, air temperature, water temperature, turbidity, conductivity, depth, perimeter, and area) and seven landscape characteristics (% canopy closure over ponds, building density, distance to nearest building, road density, distance to nearest road, distance to nearest forest stand, and % forest cover), plus five biotic factors (native amphibian richness and abundance, fish richness and abundance, and macroinvertebrate abundance). No relationship existed between native amphibian abundance or species richness and the presence or absence of Cuban Treefrogs. Ponds with a greater percentage of vegetation, large perimeters, and low pH and turbidity had greater native amphibian species richness. Cuban Treefrogs were more likely to be found in ponds with a greater percentage of aquatic vegetation and small perimeters. My results show that building large retention ponds containing low-turbidity water will restrict colonization by Cuban Treefrogs and maintain species richness of native amphibians.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Nusinov, Terina, "Limnological And Landscape Factors Affecting Use Of Manufactured Ponds By The Invasive Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus Septentrionalis)" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 753.