Citizen science program shows urban areas have lower occurrence of frog species, but not accelerated declines

Martin J Westgate, Ben Scheele, Karen Ikin, Anke Maria Hoefer, Matt Beaty, Murray Evans, William Osborne, David Hunter, Laura Rayner, Don Driscoll

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Understanding the influence of landscape change on animal populations is critical to inform biodiversity conservation efforts. A particularly important goal is to understand how urban density affects the persistence of animal populations through time, and how these impacts can be mediated by habitat provision; but data on this question are limited for some taxa. Here, we use data from a citizen science monitoring program to investigate the effect of urbanization on patterns of frog species richness and occurrence over 13 years. Sites surrounded by a high proportion of bare ground (a proxy for urbanization) had consistently lower frog occurrence, but we found no evidence that declines were restricted to urban areas. Instead, several frog species showed declines in rural wetlands with low-quality habitat. Our analysis shows that urban wetlands had low but stable species richness; but also that population trajectories are strongly influenced by vegetation provision in both the riparian zone and the wider landscape. Future increases in the extent of urban environments in our study area are likely to negatively impact populations of several frog species. However, existing urban areas are unlikely to lose further frog species in the medium term. We recommend that landscape planning and management focus on the conservation and restoration of rural wetlands to arrest current declines, and the revegetation of urban wetlands to facilitate the re-expansion of urban-sensitive species.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalPLoS One
    Volume10
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint

    Wetlands
    Anura
    urban areas
    frogs
    wetlands
    urbanization
    Urbanization
    Conservation
    Animals
    Population
    Revegetation
    Ecosystem
    Biodiversity
    species diversity
    Restoration
    riparian areas
    Proxy
    land restoration
    habitats
    Trajectories

    Cite this

    Westgate, M. J., Scheele, B., Ikin, K., Hoefer, A. M., Beaty, M., Evans, M., ... Driscoll, D. (2015). Citizen science program shows urban areas have lower occurrence of frog species, but not accelerated declines. PLoS One, 10(11), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140973
    Westgate, Martin J ; Scheele, Ben ; Ikin, Karen ; Hoefer, Anke Maria ; Beaty, Matt ; Evans, Murray ; Osborne, William ; Hunter, David ; Rayner, Laura ; Driscoll, Don. / Citizen science program shows urban areas have lower occurrence of frog species, but not accelerated declines. In: PLoS One. 2015 ; Vol. 10, No. 11. pp. 1-15.
    @article{0e62da0b00eb4151a3e23b250fa4182b,
    title = "Citizen science program shows urban areas have lower occurrence of frog species, but not accelerated declines",
    abstract = "Understanding the influence of landscape change on animal populations is critical to inform biodiversity conservation efforts. A particularly important goal is to understand how urban density affects the persistence of animal populations through time, and how these impacts can be mediated by habitat provision; but data on this question are limited for some taxa. Here, we use data from a citizen science monitoring program to investigate the effect of urbanization on patterns of frog species richness and occurrence over 13 years. Sites surrounded by a high proportion of bare ground (a proxy for urbanization) had consistently lower frog occurrence, but we found no evidence that declines were restricted to urban areas. Instead, several frog species showed declines in rural wetlands with low-quality habitat. Our analysis shows that urban wetlands had low but stable species richness; but also that population trajectories are strongly influenced by vegetation provision in both the riparian zone and the wider landscape. Future increases in the extent of urban environments in our study area are likely to negatively impact populations of several frog species. However, existing urban areas are unlikely to lose further frog species in the medium term. We recommend that landscape planning and management focus on the conservation and restoration of rural wetlands to arrest current declines, and the revegetation of urban wetlands to facilitate the re-expansion of urban-sensitive species.",
    author = "Westgate, {Martin J} and Ben Scheele and Karen Ikin and Hoefer, {Anke Maria} and Matt Beaty and Murray Evans and William Osborne and David Hunter and Laura Rayner and Don Driscoll",
    year = "2015",
    doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0140973",
    language = "English",
    volume = "10",
    pages = "1--15",
    journal = "PLoS One",
    issn = "1932-6203",
    publisher = "Public Library of Science",
    number = "11",

    }

    Westgate, MJ, Scheele, B, Ikin, K, Hoefer, AM, Beaty, M, Evans, M, Osborne, W, Hunter, D, Rayner, L & Driscoll, D 2015, 'Citizen science program shows urban areas have lower occurrence of frog species, but not accelerated declines', PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 11, pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140973

    Citizen science program shows urban areas have lower occurrence of frog species, but not accelerated declines. / Westgate, Martin J; Scheele, Ben; Ikin, Karen; Hoefer, Anke Maria; Beaty, Matt; Evans, Murray; Osborne, William; Hunter, David; Rayner, Laura; Driscoll, Don.

    In: PLoS One, Vol. 10, No. 11, 2015, p. 1-15.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Citizen science program shows urban areas have lower occurrence of frog species, but not accelerated declines

    AU - Westgate, Martin J

    AU - Scheele, Ben

    AU - Ikin, Karen

    AU - Hoefer, Anke Maria

    AU - Beaty, Matt

    AU - Evans, Murray

    AU - Osborne, William

    AU - Hunter, David

    AU - Rayner, Laura

    AU - Driscoll, Don

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - Understanding the influence of landscape change on animal populations is critical to inform biodiversity conservation efforts. A particularly important goal is to understand how urban density affects the persistence of animal populations through time, and how these impacts can be mediated by habitat provision; but data on this question are limited for some taxa. Here, we use data from a citizen science monitoring program to investigate the effect of urbanization on patterns of frog species richness and occurrence over 13 years. Sites surrounded by a high proportion of bare ground (a proxy for urbanization) had consistently lower frog occurrence, but we found no evidence that declines were restricted to urban areas. Instead, several frog species showed declines in rural wetlands with low-quality habitat. Our analysis shows that urban wetlands had low but stable species richness; but also that population trajectories are strongly influenced by vegetation provision in both the riparian zone and the wider landscape. Future increases in the extent of urban environments in our study area are likely to negatively impact populations of several frog species. However, existing urban areas are unlikely to lose further frog species in the medium term. We recommend that landscape planning and management focus on the conservation and restoration of rural wetlands to arrest current declines, and the revegetation of urban wetlands to facilitate the re-expansion of urban-sensitive species.

    AB - Understanding the influence of landscape change on animal populations is critical to inform biodiversity conservation efforts. A particularly important goal is to understand how urban density affects the persistence of animal populations through time, and how these impacts can be mediated by habitat provision; but data on this question are limited for some taxa. Here, we use data from a citizen science monitoring program to investigate the effect of urbanization on patterns of frog species richness and occurrence over 13 years. Sites surrounded by a high proportion of bare ground (a proxy for urbanization) had consistently lower frog occurrence, but we found no evidence that declines were restricted to urban areas. Instead, several frog species showed declines in rural wetlands with low-quality habitat. Our analysis shows that urban wetlands had low but stable species richness; but also that population trajectories are strongly influenced by vegetation provision in both the riparian zone and the wider landscape. Future increases in the extent of urban environments in our study area are likely to negatively impact populations of several frog species. However, existing urban areas are unlikely to lose further frog species in the medium term. We recommend that landscape planning and management focus on the conservation and restoration of rural wetlands to arrest current declines, and the revegetation of urban wetlands to facilitate the re-expansion of urban-sensitive species.

    U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0140973

    DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0140973

    M3 - Article

    VL - 10

    SP - 1

    EP - 15

    JO - PLoS One

    JF - PLoS One

    SN - 1932-6203

    IS - 11

    ER -