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Individual study: Amphibian species richness and abundance were higher and bird species richness, diversity and abundance similar in created compared to natural wetlands in West Virginia, USA

Published source details

Balcombe C.K., Anderson J.T., Fortney R.H. & Kordek W.S. (2005) Wildlife use of mitigation and reference wetlands in West Virginia. Ecological Engineering, 25, 85-99


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Create wetland Amphibian Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study of 11 mitigation wetlands in West Virginia, USA (Balcombe et al. 2005) found that amphibian species richness and abundance was significantly higher in created and partially restored wetlands than natural wetlands. Mitigation wetlands had 2.0 species/point compared to 1.5 in natural wetlands and 4.8 amphibians compared to 4.7 per wetland. Seven species were recorded in both wetland types. Abundance of American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana, northern green frog Rana clamitans and pickerel frog Rana palusris were higher in mitigation than natural wetlands (0.2–7.8 vs 0.1–3.6/wetland). Abundance of northern spring peeper Pseudacris crucifer, gray tree frog Hyla chrysoscelis, wood frog Rana sylvatica and eastern American toad Bufo americanus were similar between wetland types (mitigation: 0.4–22.9; natural: 0.1–28.4/wetland). Mitigation wetlands were 3–10 ha, had depths of 5–57 cm and had been constructed 4–21 years previously. The four reference wetlands were 7–28 ha, had depths of 5–17 cm and were near mitigation sites. Amphibians were monitored using nocturnal call surveys once a month in April–June 2001–2002.