Based upon the findings of this study and others, data indicates that for conservation purposes, small ephemeral ponds in the Lost Pines region should be considered ecologically distinct and necessary to maintain high local and regional biological diversity including wild populations of the Houston toad.
The occurrence of these amphipods in ephemeral ponds suggests that there is a primary source of Synurella in the landscape and individuals can immigrate to ephemeral ponds after habitats are re-wetted.
This result is consistent with patterns seen in previous studies (Morin 1983, 1995) and suggests that both these anuran species require relatively ephemeral ponds
that are unlikely to support populations of salamanders or fish.
The ephemeral ponds
were all interconnected and water flow was continuous through the channel.
The two predators (the salamanders Notophthalmus viridescens and Ambystoma opacum) and three herbivorous prey (the larval anurans Pseudacris crucifer (formerly Hyla crucifer), Bufo woodhousii fowleri, and Hyla andersonii) are often sympatric in natural ephemeral ponds in New Jersey and other parts of the eastern USA.
Terrestrial adults of Ambystoma opacum oviposit in the basins of dry ephemeral ponds in autumn.
Its surface is pocked by numerous (12,000) ephemeral ponds
called playas and because of the lack of geological relief, nearly 90% of all rainfall striking this plain is captured on the surface.
Composition of the predator fauna also changes, with ephemeral ponds
containing primarily small invertebrate predators, and more permanent ponds containing larger predators and even fish (Skelly 1992b; D.