Fire is an important ecosystem process that can impact local amphibian communities and breeding behaviors. Riparian gallery forests of the American Southwest are an important habitat for amphibians that breed in river channels, wetlands, and pools within the floodplain. High-intensity fires are rare in these riparian forests, and there is no information on how amphibians respond to fire in this system. We documented the presence and reproductive attempts of Couch's spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) in the San Pedro River following a high-intensity wildfire in riparian gallery forest. These observations are the first recorded breeding events of Couch's spadefoot in recently burned habitat and one of the first documented breeding events of this species in a perennial river. Our findings suggest that Couch's spadefoot can breed in burned habitat and may also suggest that the species selects perennial streams for breeding following wildfire.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics