Geographic Information Systems

Masters Student Collaborates on Amphibian Study

Posted by | Environmental Biology, Geographic Information Systems, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

SalamanderA recent collaboration between Hood College and the Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) examined how different land uses next to county wetlands can have a big impact on amphibian species. OSER collected the amphibian data and Environmental Biology Masters student Evelyn Michael analyzed the data. The research underscored that amphibian diversity is highest in wetlands surrounded by forest buffer.

Amphibians, which help control populations of pestiferous insects, utilize wetlands for breeding during spring and summer. The more amphibian species inhabiting a wetland infers that the ecosystem is healthy and stable.  Amphibians inhabit forests during the non-breeding season and utilize forests as migration corridors to travel to breeding wetland sites. A higher number of amphibian species found at wetlands adjacent to increased forest shows that these ecosystems are providing adequate habitat and migration routes for various amphibian species.