Academic Level at Time of Creation



Biology; Pre-Med



Date of Creation

Summer 8-10-2021


Wetlands are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world but

have been declining in condition across the United States for decades.

Methods such as the National Wetland Condition Assessment, which

focuses on foliage health, nutrient enrichment, chemical contamination,

and surrounding land usage, are used to catalog the condition of those

wetlands that remain. It is unknown if and how these current measures

of condition related to the physiological responses of the organisms that

inhabit these systems. Amphibians can serve as a model organism for

assessing the linkage between organismal health and wetland condition

due to their high species diversity in wetlands and their use of wetlands

for some or all of their life cycles. The objective of this study is to assess

the utility of using rapid measures of amphibian stress physiology as

complementary metrics in wetland condition assessments. The

measurement of corticosterone levels in an organism represents a noninvasive

means of collecting stress physiology data, with two well established

methods including the Santymire dermal swab method and

Gabor’s waterborne measurement method. To identify which method

may be the most appropriate in the quantification of the stress response

in amphibians, we will collect corticosterone samples from 15 individual

tree-frogs in 5 to 10 different wetlands using both the dermal swab and

waterborne measurement methods and will compare the results to

traditional rapid assessment method scores.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.