The increased public interest in amphibian conservation and the growing evidence of detrimental effects of habitat fragmentation on biological diversity has prompted land managers to seek ways of managing amphibian populations at landscape scales. For example, principles of landscape ecology are now being used by avian ecologists to direct conservation efforts and design nature reserve systems. Landscape ecology emphasizes landscape patterning, species interactions across landscape mosaics, and the change in these patterns and interactions over time. Central to landscape-scale studies of amphibians is an assessment of relevant spatial and temporal scales. Wetlands in the prairie pothole region (PPR) of eastern South Dakota provide breeding habitat for eleven species of frogs and toads. Wetland size and permanence in the PPR vary along a continuum from small, temporary and seasonal wetlands to large, semi-permanent, and permanent wetlands. This chapter explores the potential role of landscape ecology in amphibian conservation and provides an interpretation of landscape analyses using real data on amphibian populations.
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