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Bunnell, J. F. and R. A. Zampella. 1999. Acid Water Anuran Pond Communities Along a Regional Forest to Agro-Urban Ecotone. Copeia 1999: 614-627. (Summary)
We conducted nighttime vocalization surveys and dip-net surveys to relate the distributions of adult and larval anurans (frogs and toads) to site-specific and regional environmental variables in 14 New Jersey Pinelands (Pine Barrens) ponds. The ponds were located within drainage basins that displayed a range of developed and agricultural land cover. Ten ponds were natural depressions and four were shallow basins excavated for fill material. Developed or agricultural land occurred within 500 m of five ponds. All 14 ponds were acid, although the natural ponds had darker water, lower pH, and higher specific conductance than the artificial ponds. We encountered 10 species during the survey, including six species that are indigenous to the Pinelands (Pine Barrens treefrog, carpenter frog, northern spring peeper, Fowler’s toad, southern leopard frog, and green frog) and four border-entrant species (northern gray treefrog, northern cricket frog, New Jersey chorus frog, and wood frog). Border entrants are species that are usually found in the Pinelands only at sites disturbed by human activities. Native Pinelands species were heard at more ponds than any of the border-entrant species. Border-entrant species were heard only at ponds located along the forest to agro-urban ecotone (i.e., the transition between forested and disturbed landscapes). We found larvae of all species except the four border entrants and Fowler’s toad. In general, ponds characterized by clear water, higher pH, lower specific conductance, and a large percentage of emergent plant cover had higher larval species richness. These results suggest that the distribution of adult anurans is influenced by landscape patterns whereas larval recruitment may be limited by pond chemistry.

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