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Small woods positively influence the occurrence and abundance of the common frog ( Rana temporaria) in a traditional farming landscape

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Traditional farming landscape in western Europe is made of a complex mosaic of pastures, cultures, ponds and hedgerows connected with woods. Previous observations in the common frog species suggest that lowland populations are closely associated to wood cover and our aim was to test the validity of this assumption. We studied common frog occurrence and abundance in western central France ( Deux-Sèvresdepartment) close to the southern margin of lowland distribution. Our results pointed out that the proportion of woods surface around sampled areas (1 ha) was a critical determinant of common frog presence and abundance. Extensive farming, which maintains a mosaic of small woods, may provide a robust conservation tool for this species.

Affiliations: 1: 1Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, UMR 7372 CNRS/Univ La Rochelle, 79360 Villiers en Bois, France; 2: 210 Rue de la Sayette, 79340 Vasles, France; 3: 3CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS – Université de Montpellier – Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier – EPHE, Laboratoire Biogéographie et Ecologie des Vertébrés, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France

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2015-11-10
2017-11-22

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