IMPACT OF NON - INDIGENOUS PLANT SPECIES
Amphibians are suffering worldwide from loss of habitat, climate change, pesticides, introduced predators and disease. Hundreds of species are showing dramatic declines and many species have gone extinct recently. At the same time introduced plant species are spreading rapidly and increasing in abundance, including in amphibian habitats. When we began our investigations in 2000 little, if any, work had evaluated the potential impact of introduced plant species (or plant species in general) on amphibians in aquatic or terrestrial habitats.
Our work evaluated the impact of individual plant species on amphibians in their larval (aquatic) and adult (terrestrial) habitats. We used a number of case studies on plant-amphibian interactions and increasingly are involved in “screening” many different plant species (both native and introduced) for the impact on frogs and salamanders. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms (direct toxicity or through “domino effects” in food webs) that may result in positive or negative effects.
Our results show that
Carrie Brown, DNR Cornell (now working in
John Maerz, DNR Cornell (now at
Carmen Chapin, DNR Cornell (now working for the National Park Service)
Victoria Nuzzo, Natural Area Consultants
Jill Cohen, DNR Cornell
Laura Martin, DNR Cornell
National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, Kiekheffer Foundation, Illinois Division of Nature Preserves, Biodiversity Research Institute, Cornell University, NY Department of Transportation