Modeling the Relationship between Landscape Structure and Amphibian Breeding
Amphibians serve as indicators of the health of the environment in which they live. Identification of elements in the environment important for amphibian persistence can be used to construct a quantitative habitat model. This model can • provide information about the ecological requirements of a particular species. In this study, I examined the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and the spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) in the Lump Gulch Drainage in the Helena National Forest, Montana. Ponds were surveyed and various landscape features were measured. I found spotted frog breeding to be significantly associated with pond area and amount of submergent vegetation. Long-toed salamander breeding was significantly associated with pond area, amount of submergent and emergent vegetation, and distance to nearest breeding pond. My results suggest these factors may be important in determining the distribution of spotted frogs and long-toed salamanders in Western Montana.