Intensification and expansion of agriculture is one of the most pressing concerns for biodiversity conservation. Amphibian and reptile communities can be particularly sensitive to land-use change; therefore, understanding how land use and agricultural practices influence these communities in areas under increasing agricultural pressure is prudent. Over 10 yr, we sampled amphibian and reptile communities in and around 18 man-made ponds set within an agricultural/forest matrix on a military installation in western Tennessee. Ponds had either cattle access or were cattle restricted and had different surrounding land uses (forest, pasture, row crops, and industrial development). We used Akaike information criterion, corrected (AICc), model selection and nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) to assess how land-cover and pond characteristics influence amphibian and reptile richness, diversity, and community structure. Our results indicate that, despite reduced water quality, amphibian diversity was higher in ponds with cattle access, though this is likely influenced by surrounding forest, pasture, and row-crop cover. Pond permanence was important in shaping amphibian community structure and is a key factor in determining amphibian richness. We did not find any link between land cover and cattle access on reptile richness or diversity, though reptile community structure was influenced by cattle access, pasture, and row-crop cover.

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