An assessment of a constructed wastewater treatment wetland complex as urban amphibian habitat
Ruiz, Alina Marcela
MetadataShow full item record
The rapid growth of urban areas is largely responsible for simultaneous increases in demand for potable water and habitat loss for wildlife. Constructed wetlands are an efficient way for growing communities to reclaim wastewater for reuse while providing potential wildlife habitat. However, discharging treated wastewater into wetlands may expose animals to pollutants, as well as unnatural temperature and nutrient gradients. My thesis examines diversity and performance of anuran tadpoles at Panhandle Road Constructed Wetlands in Clayton County, Georgia. I compared diversity, size at metamorphosis, and prevalence of visible abnormalities of tadpoles from PRCW and reference ponds that do not receive treated wastewater. In comparison to reference ponds, diversity and size at metamorphosis was similar or larger at PRCW. However, tadpoles in ponds initially receiving treated wastewater showed delayed development and visible symptoms of a novel hypercalcification disorder, suggesting that recognition of treatment wetlands as suitable wildlife habitat may be premature.