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Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2022 Oct 01;975:1749-1767. doi: 10.1111/brv.12861.
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How plants affect amphibian populations.

Burrow A , Maerz J .

Descriptions of amphibian habitat, both aquatic and terrestrial, often include plants as characteristics but seldom is it understood whether and how those plants affect amphibian ecology. Understanding how plants affect amphibian populations is needed to develop strategies to combat declines of some amphibian populations. Using a systematic approach, we reviewed and synthesized available literature on the effects of plants on pond-breeding amphibians during the aquatic and terrestrial stages of their life cycle. Our review highlights that plant communities can strongly influence the distribution, abundance, and performance of amphibians in multiple direct and indirect ways. We found three broad themes of plants' influence on amphibians: plants can affect amphibians through effects on abiotic conditions including the thermal, hydric, and chemical aspects of an amphibian's environment; plants can have large effects on aquatic life stages through effects on resource quality and abundance; and plants can modify the nature and strength of interspecific interactions between amphibians and other species - notably predators. We synthesized insights gained from the literature to discuss how plant community management fits within efforts to manage amphibian populations and to guide future research efforts. While some topical areas are well researched, we found a general lack of mechanistic and trait-based work which is needed to advance our understanding of the drivers through which plants influence amphibian ecology. Our literature review reveals the substantial role that plants can have on amphibian ecology and the need for integrating plant and amphibian ecology to improve research and management outcomes for amphibians.

PubMed ID: 35441800
Article link: Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc

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