We used drift fence arrays with pitfall traps to compare amphibian and reptile assemblages at the peripheries of beaver (Castor canadensis) ponds of two age-classes (“new”: ≤ 5 yr old, and “old”: ≥ 10 yr old) and unimpounded streams in the Piedmont of South Carolina. The richness and total abundance of amphibians were not significantly different among new beaver ponds, old beaver ponds, and unimpounded streams, although several species of anurans were captured predominantly or exclusively at beaver ponds. Amphibian community overlap and diversity also were similar among the three habitats. In contrast, the richness and total abundance of reptiles were significantly higher at old beaver ponds when compared to new beaver ponds and unimpounded streams. The degree of reptile community overlap also was relatively low, with significant differences in diversity among all three habitats. Differences in amphibian and reptile community attributes between beaver ponds and unimpounded streams likely were related to the lentic or lotic habitat requirements of individual species and the effects of beaver impoundments on surrounding upland habitats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science