File Download
 
 
Supplementary

Postgraduate Thesis: Assessment of the effects of agricultural practices on amphibian populations in Long Valley wetlands, Hong Kong
  • Basic View
  • Metadata View
  • XML View
TitleAssessment of the effects of agricultural practices on amphibian populations in Long Valley wetlands, Hong Kong
 
AuthorsMa, Chui-ying.
馬翠盈.
 
Issue Date2012
 
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
AbstractAgricultural practices have altered natural wetland habitats for thousands of years in lowland areas of Southeast Asia, and currently these highly modified wetlands constitute some of the most important remaining habitats for amphibians. However, decreasing area of arable land and increased use of chemicals may affect the persistence of lowland amphibian populations that are now dependent on these habitats. I investigated how amphibians responded to different kinds of farming treatments in a large agricultural wetland in Hong Kong. In the first part of the study, I assessed the occurrence of breeding amphibians in 53 farming plots in 2010 and 2011. Anuran call surveys were conducted at night at the plots once a week from March to August for two years. Environmental variables were measured and used to develop models to examine species presence, occupancy, and detection probabilities. Wet agricultural plots supported 10 species of amphibians and all had detection probabilities of < 1 that varied seasonally and yearly. Organically managed plots and shallow water plots yielded high species richness and particularly attracted the ornate pygmy frog (Microhyla fissipes) and the paddy frog (Fejervarya limnocharis). Air temperature and humidity were the relatively consistent predictors that influenced calling activity of the four most commonly detected species (M. fissipes; F. limnocharis; brown tree frog Polypedates megacephalus; and G?nther’s frog Hylarana guentheri). For the second part of the study, I assessed the impacts of fertilizers on amphibians. Using mesocosm experiments in the field, I compared the effects of a chemical fertilizer (granular urea) and an organic fertilizer (peanut cake) on the survival and growth of hatchlings of Polypedates megacephalus, the marbled pygmy frog (Microhyla pulchra), Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) and Chinese bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus rugulosus). Fertilizers were applied at low, manufacturer-recommended, and high levels, and survival and snout-vent-length were measured after 21 days. No individuals survived in the chemical fertilizer treatment at the recommended application level. Conversely, survival was high for P. megacephalus (96%), M. pulchra (54%) and D. melanostictus (90%), but relatively low for H. rugulosus (18%), at the recommended level of the organic fertilizer. P. megacephalus and M. pulchra tadpoles showed increased growth in elevated concentrations of organic fertilizer. Polypedates megacephalus tadpoles were 1.6 times longer in the low concentration and almost double in length in the high concentration treatments. Similarly, increased growth in M. pulchra in all organic treatments resulted in abbreviated time to metamorphosis. Chemical fertilizers are clearly detrimental to early life stages of these amphibians, but organic fertilizers may confer benefits including a shorter time to, and larger size at, metamorphosis. These results suggest that where amphibian conservation is a priority, shifts in the management of wet agricultural crops and limiting the use of chemical fertilizers may increase the suitability of breeding habitats and survival at early life stages.
 
AdvisorsKarraker, NE
Hau, CH
 
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
 
SubjectAmphibians - China - Hong Kong.
Agriculture - China - Hong Kong.
Wetland ecology - China - Hong Kong.
 
Dept/ProgramBiological Sciences
 
DC FieldValue
dc.contributor.advisorKarraker, NE
 
dc.contributor.advisorHau, CH
 
dc.contributor.authorMa, Chui-ying.
 
dc.contributor.author馬翠盈.
 
dc.date.hkucongregation2012
 
dc.date.issued2012
 
dc.description.abstractAgricultural practices have altered natural wetland habitats for thousands of years in lowland areas of Southeast Asia, and currently these highly modified wetlands constitute some of the most important remaining habitats for amphibians. However, decreasing area of arable land and increased use of chemicals may affect the persistence of lowland amphibian populations that are now dependent on these habitats. I investigated how amphibians responded to different kinds of farming treatments in a large agricultural wetland in Hong Kong. In the first part of the study, I assessed the occurrence of breeding amphibians in 53 farming plots in 2010 and 2011. Anuran call surveys were conducted at night at the plots once a week from March to August for two years. Environmental variables were measured and used to develop models to examine species presence, occupancy, and detection probabilities. Wet agricultural plots supported 10 species of amphibians and all had detection probabilities of < 1 that varied seasonally and yearly. Organically managed plots and shallow water plots yielded high species richness and particularly attracted the ornate pygmy frog (Microhyla fissipes) and the paddy frog (Fejervarya limnocharis). Air temperature and humidity were the relatively consistent predictors that influenced calling activity of the four most commonly detected species (M. fissipes; F. limnocharis; brown tree frog Polypedates megacephalus; and G?nther’s frog Hylarana guentheri). For the second part of the study, I assessed the impacts of fertilizers on amphibians. Using mesocosm experiments in the field, I compared the effects of a chemical fertilizer (granular urea) and an organic fertilizer (peanut cake) on the survival and growth of hatchlings of Polypedates megacephalus, the marbled pygmy frog (Microhyla pulchra), Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) and Chinese bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus rugulosus). Fertilizers were applied at low, manufacturer-recommended, and high levels, and survival and snout-vent-length were measured after 21 days. No individuals survived in the chemical fertilizer treatment at the recommended application level. Conversely, survival was high for P. megacephalus (96%), M. pulchra (54%) and D. melanostictus (90%), but relatively low for H. rugulosus (18%), at the recommended level of the organic fertilizer. P. megacephalus and M. pulchra tadpoles showed increased growth in elevated concentrations of organic fertilizer. Polypedates megacephalus tadpoles were 1.6 times longer in the low concentration and almost double in length in the high concentration treatments. Similarly, increased growth in M. pulchra in all organic treatments resulted in abbreviated time to metamorphosis. Chemical fertilizers are clearly detrimental to early life stages of these amphibians, but organic fertilizers may confer benefits including a shorter time to, and larger size at, metamorphosis. These results suggest that where amphibian conservation is a priority, shifts in the management of wet agricultural crops and limiting the use of chemical fertilizers may increase the suitability of breeding habitats and survival at early life stages.
 
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version
 
dc.description.thesisdisciplineBiological Sciences
 
dc.description.thesislevelmaster's
 
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy
 
dc.identifier.hkulb4819946
 
dc.languageeng
 
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)
 
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.
 
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License
 
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48199461
 
dc.subject.lcshAmphibians - China - Hong Kong.
 
dc.subject.lcshAgriculture - China - Hong Kong.
 
dc.subject.lcshWetland ecology - China - Hong Kong.
 
dc.titleAssessment of the effects of agricultural practices on amphibian populations in Long Valley wetlands, Hong Kong
 
dc.typePG_Thesis
 
<?xml encoding="utf-8" version="1.0"?>
<item><contributor.advisor>Karraker, NE</contributor.advisor>
<contributor.advisor>Hau, CH</contributor.advisor>
<contributor.author>Ma, Chui-ying.</contributor.author>
<contributor.author>&#39340;&#32736;&#30408;.</contributor.author>
<date.issued>2012</date.issued>
<description.abstract>&#65279;Agricultural practices have altered natural wetland habitats for thousands of years in lowland areas of Southeast Asia, and currently these highly modified wetlands constitute some of the most important remaining habitats for amphibians. However, decreasing area of arable land and increased use of chemicals may affect the persistence of lowland amphibian populations that are now dependent on these habitats. I investigated how amphibians responded to different kinds of farming treatments in a large agricultural wetland in Hong Kong.

In the first part of the study, I assessed the occurrence of breeding amphibians in 53 farming plots in 2010 and 2011. Anuran call surveys were conducted at night at the plots once a week from March to August for two years. Environmental variables were measured and used to develop models to examine species presence, occupancy, and detection probabilities. Wet agricultural plots supported 10 species of amphibians and all had detection probabilities of &lt; 1 that varied seasonally and yearly. Organically managed plots and shallow water plots yielded high species richness and particularly attracted the ornate pygmy frog (Microhyla fissipes) and the paddy frog (Fejervarya limnocharis). Air temperature and humidity were the relatively consistent predictors that influenced calling activity of the four most commonly detected species (M. fissipes; F. limnocharis; brown tree frog Polypedates megacephalus; and G?nther&#8217;s frog Hylarana guentheri).

For the second part of the study, I assessed the impacts of fertilizers on amphibians. Using mesocosm experiments in the field, I compared the effects of a chemical fertilizer (granular urea) and an organic fertilizer (peanut cake) on the survival and growth of hatchlings of Polypedates megacephalus, the marbled pygmy frog (Microhyla pulchra), Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) and Chinese bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus rugulosus). Fertilizers were applied at low, manufacturer-recommended, and high levels, and survival and snout-vent-length were measured after 21 days. No individuals survived in the chemical fertilizer treatment at the recommended application level. Conversely, survival was high for P. megacephalus (96%), M. pulchra (54%) and D. melanostictus (90%), but relatively low for H. rugulosus (18%), at the recommended level of the organic fertilizer. P. megacephalus and M. pulchra tadpoles showed increased growth in elevated concentrations of organic fertilizer. Polypedates megacephalus tadpoles were 1.6 times longer in the low concentration and almost double in length in the high concentration treatments. Similarly, increased growth in M. pulchra in all organic treatments resulted in abbreviated time to metamorphosis. Chemical fertilizers are clearly detrimental to early life stages of these amphibians, but organic fertilizers may confer benefits including a shorter time to, and larger size at, metamorphosis. 

These results suggest that where amphibian conservation is a priority, shifts in the management of wet agricultural crops and limiting the use of chemical fertilizers may increase the suitability of breeding habitats and survival at early life stages.</description.abstract>
<language>eng</language>
<publisher>The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)</publisher>
<relation.ispartof>HKU Theses Online (HKUTO)</relation.ispartof>
<rights>The author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.</rights>
<rights>Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License</rights>
<source.uri>http://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48199461</source.uri>
<subject.lcsh>Amphibians - China - Hong Kong.</subject.lcsh>
<subject.lcsh>Agriculture - China - Hong Kong.</subject.lcsh>
<subject.lcsh>Wetland ecology - China - Hong Kong.</subject.lcsh>
<title>Assessment of the effects of agricultural practices on amphibian populations in Long Valley wetlands, Hong Kong</title>
<type>PG_Thesis</type>
<identifier.hkul>b4819946</identifier.hkul>
<description.thesisname>Master of Philosophy</description.thesisname>
<description.thesislevel>master&apos;s</description.thesislevel>
<description.thesisdiscipline>Biological Sciences</description.thesisdiscipline>
<description.nature>published_or_final_version</description.nature>
<date.hkucongregation>2012</date.hkucongregation>
<bitstream.url>http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/167222/1/FullText.pdf</bitstream.url>
</item>