Prioritizing regions for the conservation of amphibians with special emphasis on the Red Hills salamander (phaeognathus hubrichti)

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dc.contributor Ramonell, Katrina M.
dc.contributor Benstead, Jonathan P.
dc.contributor Harris, Phillip M.
dc.contributor Travis, Joseph
dc.contributor.advisor Rissler, Leslie J. Apodaca, Joseph J. 2017-02-28T22:29:48Z 2017-02-28T22:29:48Z 2010
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0000337
dc.identifier.other Apodaca_alatus_0004D_10407
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrate group in the world, and are experiencing rapid species declines and numerous extinctions. The most effective way to stem these losses is through the establishment of protected areas. The limited amount of funding available to such efforts requires that conservation agencies and biologists must find a way to properly focus their efforts and resources. Yet, there is no clear-cut method to prioritize areas for biological reserves. In fact, the identification of biologically important regions is one of the most debated topics in the field of conservation biology. As this debate wages on and as species continue to decline at an unprecedented rate, conservation biologists have come to rely on increasingly sophisticated methods for the identification of these areas. In this dissertation I focus on recently developed techniques for prioritizing reserve selection from macro to micro-scales for amphibians in the southeastern United States. For chapters one and two I focus on broad scale issues for wide taxonomic groups. Chapter one focuses on testing whether using environmental niche models rather than extent of occurrence maps to create richness patterns is a valid approach. I found that environmental niche models could be useful for generating richness patterns for understudied regions or taxa if proper precautions are taken. Chapter two focuses on implementing evolutionary data into richness and endemism patterns using all members of the family Plethodontidae found in the southeastern United States. I found that using evolutionary data in conjunction with traditional biodiversity metrics provides a unique and valuable perspective. Chapters three and four narrow the focus to a single taxon, the Red Hills salamander (Phaeognathus hubrichti). The Red Hills salamander is a federally threatened species whose conservation has been hampered by their secretive and fossorial nature. To circumvent this problem, I conduct a conservation genetics study in chapter three and combine the data with spatial and life history data in order to make habitat acquisition recommendations in chapter four. I found that there are five distinct and well supported populations of P. hubrichti. Additionally, each population has extremely low levels of gene flow and high levels of inbreeding. I recommend that 21 sites are acquired and that attempts are made to restore habitat in-between known populations.
dc.format.extent 149 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Biology, Ecology
dc.subject.other Biology, General
dc.subject.other Biology, Genetics
dc.title Prioritizing regions for the conservation of amphibians with special emphasis on the Red Hills salamander (phaeognathus hubrichti)
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. Dept. of Biological Sciences Biological Sciences The University of Alabama doctoral Ph.D.

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