Wetland hydrology, area, and isolation influence occupancy and spatial turnover of the painted turtle, Chrysemys picta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Habitat area and isolation have been useful predictors of species occupancy and turnover in highly fragmented systems. However, habitat quality also can influence occupancy dynamics, especially in patchy systems where habitat selection can be as important as stochastic demographic processes. We studied the spatial population dynamics of Chrysemys picta (painted turtle) in a network of 90 wetlands in Illinois, USA from 2007 to 2009. We first evaluated the relative influence of metapopulation factors (area, isolation) and habitat quality of focal patches on occupancy and turnover. Next, we tested the effect of habitat quality of source patches on occupancy and turnover at focal patches. Turnover was common with colonizations (n = 16) outnumbering extinctions (n = 10) between the first 2 years, and extinctions (n = 16) outnumbering colonizations (n = 3) between the second 2 years. Both metapopulation and habitat quality factors influenced C. picta occupancy dynamics. Colonization probability was related positively to spatial connectivity, wetland area, and habitat quality (wetland inundation, emergent vegetation cover). Extinction probability was related negatively to wetland area and emergent vegetation cover. Habitat quality of source patches strongly influenced initial occupancy but not turnover patterns. Because habitat quality for freshwater turtles is related to wetland hydrology, a change from drought to wet conditions during our study likely influenced distributional shifts. Thus, effects of habitat quality of source and focal patches on occupancy can vary in space and time. Both metapopulation and habitat quality factors may be needed to understand occupancy dynamics, even for species exhibiting patchy population structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1589-1600
Number of pages12
JournalLandscape Ecology
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

Fingerprint

wetland
habitat quality
turnover
turtle
habitat
social isolation
hydrology
metapopulation
colonization
extinction
vegetation cover
habitat selection
population structure
connectivity
population dynamics
drought
population development

Keywords

  • Dispersal
  • Environmental stochasticity
  • Hydroperiod
  • Illinois
  • Landscape structure
  • Metapopulation
  • Source-sink
  • Target effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Wetland hydrology, area, and isolation influence occupancy and spatial turnover of the painted turtle, Chrysemys picta. / Cosentino, Bradley J.; Schooley, Robert Lee; Phillips, Christopher A.

In: Landscape Ecology, Vol. 25, No. 10, 01.12.2010, p. 1589-1600.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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