Mouvements et reproduction des amphibiens en tourbières perturbées

Authors: Mazerolle, Marc J.
Advisor: Desrochers, AndréRochefort, Line
Abstract: Global amphibian population declines have generated numerous studies on the effects of habitat loss, but few have been conducted in naturally-acidic environments. Nevertheless, many peatlands are undergoing peat extraction in southeastern Canada. Through five chapters, I have studied the use of bog habitats by amphibians, quantified the effects of peat extraction on amphibian occurrence at bog ponds, and measured the constraints associated with movements over mined surfaces. Bogs were less productive breeding sites than less acidic upland sites, but were used by adults and juveniles following breeding outside bogs. Bog ponds on surfaces actively mined for peat offered suboptimal habitats to green frogs (Rana clamitans), whereas bog ponds on surfaces drained for future peat mining, characterized by the presence of drainage ditches and vegetation, provided supplementary frog habitat. However, this positive effect was only temporary, as these surfaces were to be eventually mined. In a study conducted at a larger scale and focusing on bog ponds on unmined surfaces, I showed the importance of the amount and proximity of complementary habitats (i.e., adjacent ponds, forest) on the spatial distribution of amphibian presence at ponds. Moreover, frog movement experiments revealed that frogs translocated on barren peat surfaces had a lower probability of homing successfully than those translocated at a similar distance on an undisturbed surface, and that dehydration risks were the lowest on natural surfaces with vegetation cover. No reproduction occurred in drainage ditches, although frog survival in these structures was high. In addition, ditches did not impede the movements of individuals. Globally, results indicate that amphibians use bogs mostly as summering sites. Furthermore, peat mining intensity influences the occurrence of amphibians at ponds, but the proximity and amount of complementary habitats could mitigate these effects. Finally, barren surfaces associated with certain human disturbances such as peat mining and agriculture impede frog movements, although drainage ditches, particularly those containing water, may facilitate movements across these hostile environments.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2004
Open Access Date: 11 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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