Bromeliads are recognized as vital habitats for arboreal amphibians. However, these plants are often not included in traditional amphibian surveys. Furthermore, focused canopy sampling techniques are time-consuming, require specialized equipment and training, and, in the case of bromeliads, sampling is typically destructive. In this study, we developed and tested a new passive sampling technique for amphibians in bromeliads, which can be easily implemented in common amphibian surveys in the Neotropics. Our study was conducted in five different forests along an elevation gradient (0–2,200 m a.s.l.) in the central region of Veracruz, Mexico. In each forest, 15 tank bromeliads were relocated on large trees at 1.5 m above the ground (n = 75) by fastening them onto metal rings attached to the trees. Over a period of one year, these bromeliads were inspected monthly for amphibians. In total, we recorded 34 individuals belonging to eight species, including small and rare species that are normally difficult to find in the field. This technique appears to be effective in detecting frogs and salamanders across a range of ecosystems, especially in the cloud and mangrove forest where they were found more frequently throughout the year. Bromeliad relocation represents an alternative sampling technique for arboreal amphibians, which reduces the number of bromeliads that have to be sacrificed, requires few resources and minimal prior knowledge, and can be implemented effectively in studies that need repeated sampling through time.
Bromeliad Sampling: A Passive Technique for Arboreal Amphibians across Ecosystems in the Neotropics
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Yonatan Aguilar-Cruz, María de los Ángeles Arenas-Cruz, Leticia M. Ochoa-Ochoa, Gerhard Zotz; Bromeliad Sampling: A Passive Technique for Arboreal Amphibians across Ecosystems in the Neotropics. Ichthyology & Herpetology 1 May 2021; 109 (1): 211–218. doi: https://doi.org/10.1643/h2019277
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