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Tuesday, January 30 • 11:40am - 12:00pm
(CANCELLED) SYMPOSIA-06: Community, Health, and Stress Response of Reintroduced and Resident Amphibians to Oak Woodland Restoration

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AUTHORS. Allison Sacerdote-Velat; Mary Beth Manjerovic; Rachel Santymire

ABSTRACT. To improve oak regeneration in Illinois forested wetlands, a restoration project was implemented that creates light gaps via invasive understory removal and selective thinning of overstory trees. Restoration sites include a wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) reintroduction site where persistence and recruitment has been documented since 2010. To determine the impact of oak restoration on amphibian communities, we began a three-year photo-mark-recapture study to examine amphibian community structure, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) incidence, and amphibian stress in five restoration sites and one control site along the Des Plaines River. In 2016, wood frogs expanded breeding from two ponds to four ponds. We observed a north-south gradient of low to high representation of spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), which are thought to be declining in the region. Blue-spotted salamanders (Ambystoma laterale) had consistent representation across sites. In 2017, we observed record high numbers of wood frog egg masses in the reintroduction site, and conducted feasibility assessment for expansion of wood frog reintroduction to additional oak restoration sites. We compared spring peeper and boreal chorus frog (Pseudacris maculatum) larval survival using in situ enclosures along the north-south gradient of representation, examining canopy cover and water chemistry parameters.  Bd and cortisol (CORT) swabs were collected across species and sites through time. In 2016, we observed a Bd sample prevalence of 17.5% across sites. Bd was detected in four of six sites. Bd-positive species included green frogs (Lithobates clamitans), bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus), northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens), chorus frogs, spring peepers, American toads (Anaxyrus americanus), and blue-spotted salamanders. CORT levels of each species were similar across sites, but northern leopard frog CORT was greater with positive Bd status. 2017 swabs are currently being analyzed. As habitat quality improves, we expect increased amphibian diversity, decreases in CORT across sites, and decreased incidence of Bd.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm CST