KeywordsAquatic and Riparian Ecosystems
Chiricahua leopard frogs
AdvisorFisher, Lawrence A.
Falk, Donald A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 04/17/2019
AbstractAquatic and riparian ecosystems are of critical importance in arid environments, supporting a diverse suite of resident and migratory species over different life stages. Ecological connectivity is an important property in the functioning of these ecosystems, and a significant subject of interest for researchers,scientists,resource managers, practitioners and other stakeholders. Furthermore, a variety of perceptions exists on aquatic and riparian connectivity among stakeholders, and connectivity of these ecosystems in arid landscapes is a relatively unexplored subject. I focused on these issues in the US portion of the Madrean Archipelago by combining qualitative methods to capture the diversity of perspectives among experts and quantitative spatial analysis to capture the variety of factors that influence aquatic and riparian connectivity. I synthesized the resultant expert perspectives into a Connectivity Component-Dimension Framework that deconstructs aquatic and riparian connectivity into connectivity components and their dimensions. Using GIS and regression analysis, I applied this framework to a case study of the threatened Chiricahua leopard frog (Rana chiricahuensis) in the Cienega Creek basin in Arizona and created connectivity indices for this focal species. Some factors that emerged significant in this case study included elevation, fire hazard potential, and density of leopard frog sightings. This connectivity framework and the related indices provide customizable options for stakeholders to assess aquatic and riparian connectivity multidimensionally using readily available data. These tools can be used by stakeholders for exploratory analysis, assessment and visualization of aquatic and riparian connectivity, in arid landscapes, and beyond.
Degree ProgramGraduate College