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Do a threatened native amphibian and its invasive congener differ in response to human alteration of the landscape?


Anthropogenic changes to habitat are a global phenomenon and the impact of these changes may act in tandem to cause loss of biodiversity. One major global change is the introduction of invasive species. In order to determine whether other human impacts might correlate with populations of invaders, we examined the habitat correlates of distribution, persistence and reproduction of a global invader, the American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). We then compared these correlates with those of a threatened, native congener, the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii). We found striking differences between the two species in response to habitat fragmentation and degradation. Our work suggests that human alteration of habitat, in particular the hydrology of freshwater sites and through building roads, favors this invasive species across the landscape.

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