Assessment of the Impact of Forest Habitat Fragmentation Through Analysis of Genetic Variability of Wood Frogs in Continuous and Discontinuous Forested Swamp Areas in ConnecticutEPA Grant Number: GF9501458
Title: Assessment of the Impact of Forest Habitat Fragmentation Through Analysis of Genetic Variability of Wood Frogs in Continuous and Discontinuous Forested Swamp Areas in Connecticut
Investigators: Beard, Karen H.
Institution: Yale University
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: August 15, 1995 through August 14, 1996
Project Amount: $29,750
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Ecology
The purpose of this study is to assess the ecological and genetic consequences due to habitat fragmentation. To assess the impact that barriers such as roadways have on small bodied, forest-dwelling animals, this study will focus on the genetic variability in wood frogs, Rana sylvatica, in discontinuous and continuous forested swamp areas in Connecticut. The wood frog is an aquatic-breeding, terrestrial dwelling amphibian which is particularly vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. This project will examine subpopulations in fragmented areas ranging in size from 10 to 1,000 individuals in areas of varying lengths of isolation from 0, 10, 100 and 10,000 years. Control populations from non-fragmented areas will also be studied. The genetic variation within the wood frog will be assayed using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) techniques, and estimates will be made of genetic divergence between subpopulations. Landscape features will be quantified to determine the relationship among landscape features and genetic variability, an analyses will be made to determine if there is a relationship between genetic variability and length of isolation. The results of this study will be used to better understand the potential impacts of deforestation on biodiversity.