Metapopulation structure of the Western Spotted Frog (Heleioporus albopunctatus) in the fragmented landscape of the Western Australian wheatbelt

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] Amidst concern over the global phenomenon of declining amphibians, there is an increasing appreciation of the importance of understanding population dynamics at both local and regional scales. Data on the viability and persistence of species in landscapes altered by humans are scarce but an understanding of these dynamics is essential for enabling long-term species conservation in a modified world. Habitat loss, fragmentation and ensuing salinisation are of particular concern for species in Australia’s temperate agricultural regions where the rapid conversion of continuously vegetated landscapes to small fragments has occurred in less than 200 years. This thesis investigated the local and metapopulation structure of Heleioporus albopunctatus to determine the current population structure and likely future of this species in a highly degraded landscape: the wheat and sheep growing areas of southwestern Australia ... The life-history attributes of H. albopunctatus, including high fecundity, high adult longevity and low to moderate dispersal contribute to a robust regional metapopulation, responsive to changes, but with a strong chance of persistence over the long-term. H. albopunctatus appears to have adjusted to a radically modified landscape but its long-term persistence may be dependent on the existence of a small number of source populations that recruit in most years.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2004

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