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The Distribution of Anurans in Two River Systems of a Coastal Plain Watershed

Robert A. Zampella and John F. Bunnell
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 34, No. 2 (Jun., 2000), pp. 210-221
DOI: 10.2307/1565417
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1565417
Page Count: 12
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The Distribution of Anurans in Two River Systems of a Coastal Plain Watershed
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Abstract

In 1993, we conducted an anuran-vocalization survey of 87 sites within two river systems (Mullica River and Wading River) of a major Coastal Plain watershed in the New Jersey Pinelands. The Mullica River system is more intensely developed and farmed than the Wading River system. Degraded waters, characterized by elevated pH, specific conductance, and nitrate-nitrogen values, are more frequently encountered in the Mullica River system. We found differences in the distribution of both individual anuran species and species-based site classes between the two river systems. Six native-Pinelands species, the Pine Barrens treefrog (Hyla andersonii), the carpenter frog (Rana virgatipes), the southern leopard frog (Rana utricularia), Fowler's toad (Bufo woodhousii fowleri), the spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer), and the green frog (Rana clamitans melanota), were widely distributed, although spring peepers occurred more frequently in the Mullica River system. Four species that are distributed outside the region, but do not usually occur in the Pinelands, were heard only in the Mullica River system. These non-native Pinelands species were bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), pickerel frogs (Rana palustris), northern cricket frogs (Acris crepitans crepitans), and gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor). Bullfrogs occurred more frequently at sites with adjacent developed or upland-agricultural land, while carpenter frogs were more closely associated with unaltered sites. Pine Barrens treefrogs and carpenter frogs were generally absent and leopard frogs occurred infrequently at sites where bullfrogs occurred.

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