Faculty Publications and Presentations

Changes in Physiology and Microbial Diversity in Larval Ornate Chorus Frogs are Associated with Habitat Quality

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As the human population continues to increase, land-use conversion has altered habitat suitability for many species (Vitousek et al., 1997; McKinney, 2002). Habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation, coupled with climate change and other anthropogenic factors, are among the most significant drivers of population declines and species extinctions (Brook et al., 2008; Mantyka-Pringle et al., 2012; Segan et al., 2016; Ceballos et al., 2017). Landscape-level disturbances such as habitat loss and degradation affect populations by altering habitat connectivity, composition and quality (Fahrig, 2003). For aquatic organisms, local impacts on water quality such as changes in temperature, pH, contaminant, nutrient and sediment levels (Meybeck, 2004) can also pose significant consequences to population health and resilience. Together, the additive or synergistic effects are especially troubling for species, especially those with complex life cycles that require multiple habitats to complete development (Hayes et al., 2010; Blaustein et al., 2011). Examining the physiological responses of individuals to such factors can provide insight into the mechanisms by which environmental stressors can lead to population declines (Wikelski and Cooke, 2006). In turn, understanding the consequences of these factors on populations could aid in better management practices for declining species.