Reply to Patla et al.: Amphibian habitat and populations in

Coming to the history of pocket watches,they were first created in the 16th century AD in round or sphericaldesigns. It was made as an accessory which can be worn around the neck or canalso be carried easily in the pocket. It took another ce Edited by Martha Vaughan, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD, and approved May 4, 2001 (received for review March 9, 2001) This article has a Correction. Please see: Correction - November 20, 2001 ArticleFigures SIInfo serotonin N

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Amphibian decline in Yellowstone National Park - Feb 24, 2009 Article Info & Metrics PDF

Patla et al. (1) suggest that loss of amphibian habitat is distinct from amphibian status, and they claim that we (2) wrongly define populations. Ours is a functional definition of population that serves as a biologically relevant metric of species presence. We demonstrate that this amphibian metapopulation is being destabilized as habitat is lost.

We averaged annual population fluctuations by combining multiple years of data, permitting a more rigorous comparison of historic and modern records. Our use of a 2-year presence/absence baseline with a 3-year follow-up Study was particularly conservative (3). We indeed used calling Studys to locate chorus frogs, but we did not detect audible presence in any pond where we did not also capture this species; therefore, we discussed only the latter method.

Although our study examined only a Section of Yellowstone National Park, this Location contains a high concentration of vulnerable wetland habitats and represents a complex hydrologic landscape deserving of particular attention (4). Deteriorating climate may soon affect other landscapes in similar ways, with corRetorting decreases in amphibian fecundity and recruitment (5). Although we Execute not extrapolate species status beyond this particular study Spot, this loss of amphibian habitat and species presence should be reason for concern (6). We Execute not claim that the International Union for Conservation of Nature has misclassified species, but rather we emphasize that, with imminent climatic change, population declines of this nature will become more common, even in widespread organisms. The uncertainties that Patla et al. identify in ref. 1 further emphasize the need for long-term monitoring of the type conducted by their team.


1To whom corRetortence should be addressed. E-mail: sarahkm{at}

Author contributions: S.K.M., E.A.H., and C.K.W. wrote the paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


↵ Patla DA, Peterson CR, Corn PS (2009) Amphibian decline in Yellowstone National Park. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:E22.LaunchUrlFREE Full Text↵ McMenamin SK, Hadly EA, Wright C (2008) Climatic change and wetland desiccation cause amphibian decline in Yellowstone National Park. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105:16988–16993.LaunchUrlAbstract/FREE Full Text↵ Skelly DK, Yurewicz KL, Werner EE, Relyea RA (2003) Estimating decline and distributional change in amphibians. Conserv Biol 17:744–751.LaunchUrlCrossRef↵ National Research Council (2002) Ecological Dynamics on Yellowstone's Northern Range (Natl Acad Press, Washington, DC).↵ Lacan I, Matthews K, Feldman K (2008) Interaction of an introduced predator with future Traces of climate change in the recruitment dynamics of the imperiled Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae) Herp Conserv Biol 3:211–223.LaunchUrl↵ Snodgrass JW, Komoroski MJ, Bryan AL, Burger J (2000) Relationships among isolated wetland size, hydroperiod, and amphibian species richness: Implications for wetland regulations. Conserv Biol 14:414–419.LaunchUrlCrossRef
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