Assessing habitat quality when forest attributes have opposing effects on abundance and detectability

A case study on Darwin's frogs

Andrés Valenzuela-Sánchez, Benedikt R. Schmidt, Catalina Pérez, Tania Altamirano, Verónica Toledo, Ítalo Pérez, Sebastián Teillier, Andrew A. Cunningham, Claudio Soto-Azat

Resultado de la investigación: Article

1 Cita (Scopus)

Resumen

Forest management can be used to increase the local abundance of species of conservation concern. To achieve this goal, managers must be sure that the relationships between the targeted forest attributes and the focal species abundance are based on robust data and inference. This is a critical issue as the same forest attributes could have opposing effects on species abundance and the detectability of individuals, impairing our ability to detect useful habitat quality surrogates and to provide correct forest management recommendations. Using spatially stratified capture-recapture models (a.k.a. multinomial N-mixture models), we evaluated the effects of stand-level forest attributes on detection probability and local abundance for the endangered Southern Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii), a forest-specialist and fully terrestrial amphibian endemic to the South American temperate forest. Our results show that an increase of stand basal area and a decrease of daily microclimatic fluctuation (i.e. an increase in structural complexity) were positively associated with the local abundance of R. darwinii. These stand-level forest attributes also explained the among-population variation in detection probability, although the relationships were opposite to those for abundance. Consequently, an analysis of raw frog counts (i.e. not adjusted for imperfect detection) did not reveal all the factors associated with local abundance. Our results provide further support to previous claims that raw counts of individuals should not be used, generally, as a proxy of abundance in species inhabiting forest ecosystems and elsewhere. More importantly, the opposite effect of forest attributes on abundance and detectability observed in our study highlights the need to use methods that quantify species-habitat relationships in a robust way and which take habitat-specific imperfect detection into account.

Idioma originalEnglish
Páginas (desde-hasta)942-948
Número de páginas7
PublicaciónForest Ecology and Management
Volumen432
DOI
EstadoPublished - 15 ene 2019

Huella dactilar

habitat quality
frog
frogs
case studies
habitats
forest management
temperate forests
basal area
forest ecosystems
amphibians
effect
attribute
managers
habitat
temperate forest
amphibian
forest ecosystem
detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Citar esto

Valenzuela-Sánchez, Andrés ; Schmidt, Benedikt R. ; Pérez, Catalina ; Altamirano, Tania ; Toledo, Verónica ; Pérez, Ítalo ; Teillier, Sebastián ; Cunningham, Andrew A. ; Soto-Azat, Claudio. / Assessing habitat quality when forest attributes have opposing effects on abundance and detectability : A case study on Darwin's frogs. En: Forest Ecology and Management. 2019 ; Vol. 432. pp. 942-948.
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abstract = "Forest management can be used to increase the local abundance of species of conservation concern. To achieve this goal, managers must be sure that the relationships between the targeted forest attributes and the focal species abundance are based on robust data and inference. This is a critical issue as the same forest attributes could have opposing effects on species abundance and the detectability of individuals, impairing our ability to detect useful habitat quality surrogates and to provide correct forest management recommendations. Using spatially stratified capture-recapture models (a.k.a. multinomial N-mixture models), we evaluated the effects of stand-level forest attributes on detection probability and local abundance for the endangered Southern Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii), a forest-specialist and fully terrestrial amphibian endemic to the South American temperate forest. Our results show that an increase of stand basal area and a decrease of daily microclimatic fluctuation (i.e. an increase in structural complexity) were positively associated with the local abundance of R. darwinii. These stand-level forest attributes also explained the among-population variation in detection probability, although the relationships were opposite to those for abundance. Consequently, an analysis of raw frog counts (i.e. not adjusted for imperfect detection) did not reveal all the factors associated with local abundance. Our results provide further support to previous claims that raw counts of individuals should not be used, generally, as a proxy of abundance in species inhabiting forest ecosystems and elsewhere. More importantly, the opposite effect of forest attributes on abundance and detectability observed in our study highlights the need to use methods that quantify species-habitat relationships in a robust way and which take habitat-specific imperfect detection into account.",
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Valenzuela-Sánchez, A, Schmidt, BR, Pérez, C, Altamirano, T, Toledo, V, Pérez, Í, Teillier, S, Cunningham, AA & Soto-Azat, C 2019, 'Assessing habitat quality when forest attributes have opposing effects on abundance and detectability: A case study on Darwin's frogs', Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 432, pp. 942-948. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2018.10.022

Assessing habitat quality when forest attributes have opposing effects on abundance and detectability : A case study on Darwin's frogs. / Valenzuela-Sánchez, Andrés; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Pérez, Catalina; Altamirano, Tania; Toledo, Verónica; Pérez, Ítalo; Teillier, Sebastián; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Soto-Azat, Claudio.

En: Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 432, 15.01.2019, p. 942-948.

Resultado de la investigación: Article

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T2 - A case study on Darwin's frogs

AU - Valenzuela-Sánchez, Andrés

AU - Schmidt, Benedikt R.

AU - Pérez, Catalina

AU - Altamirano, Tania

AU - Toledo, Verónica

AU - Pérez, Ítalo

AU - Teillier, Sebastián

AU - Cunningham, Andrew A.

AU - Soto-Azat, Claudio

PY - 2019/1/15

Y1 - 2019/1/15

N2 - Forest management can be used to increase the local abundance of species of conservation concern. To achieve this goal, managers must be sure that the relationships between the targeted forest attributes and the focal species abundance are based on robust data and inference. This is a critical issue as the same forest attributes could have opposing effects on species abundance and the detectability of individuals, impairing our ability to detect useful habitat quality surrogates and to provide correct forest management recommendations. Using spatially stratified capture-recapture models (a.k.a. multinomial N-mixture models), we evaluated the effects of stand-level forest attributes on detection probability and local abundance for the endangered Southern Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii), a forest-specialist and fully terrestrial amphibian endemic to the South American temperate forest. Our results show that an increase of stand basal area and a decrease of daily microclimatic fluctuation (i.e. an increase in structural complexity) were positively associated with the local abundance of R. darwinii. These stand-level forest attributes also explained the among-population variation in detection probability, although the relationships were opposite to those for abundance. Consequently, an analysis of raw frog counts (i.e. not adjusted for imperfect detection) did not reveal all the factors associated with local abundance. Our results provide further support to previous claims that raw counts of individuals should not be used, generally, as a proxy of abundance in species inhabiting forest ecosystems and elsewhere. More importantly, the opposite effect of forest attributes on abundance and detectability observed in our study highlights the need to use methods that quantify species-habitat relationships in a robust way and which take habitat-specific imperfect detection into account.

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