Tracy Rittenhouse


Department of Botany

Office: 312 Birge Hall

Phone: (608) 265-6208




430 Lincoln Drive

University of Wisconsin

Madison, WI 53706 - 1381






Educational Background:




Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.  2007.

M.A., Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.  2002.

B.S., Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.  2000.



Current Projects:


I am interested in understanding the relationships between plant and amphibian communities in wetlands.  My current project uses outdoor mesocosms to test whether the invasion of wetlands by reed canary grass affects the growth and survival of gray treefrog tadpoles.  In addition, I am developing a citizen-scientist program in restoration ecology at the UW Arboretum.  This program will engage landowners in the use of adaptive restoration practices.



Dissertation Research:


I defined adult wood frog non-breeding habitat in continuous oak-hickory forest and in response to experimental timber harvest conducted as part of a NSF collaborative project referred to as Land-use Effects on Amphibian Populations (LEAP).  I asked research questions that address the two components of habitat selection: 1) behavioral choice, and 2) demographic consequences of that choice.  I showed that wood frogs behaviorally avoid recent oak-hickory clearcuts and found that survival was reduced following timber harvest as a result of both increased predation and desiccation risks. 





Selected Publications:

Rittenhouse, T.A.G., R.D. Semlitsch, F.R. Thompson. 2009. Survival costs associated with wood frog breeding migrations: effects of timber harvest and drought. Ecology. In Press.

Rittenhouse, T.A.G., E.B. Harper, L. Reharde, and R.D. Semlitsch. 2008. The role of microhabitats in the desiccation and survival of amphibians in a recently harvested oak-hickory forest. Copeia.  In Press. 

Harper, E.B., T.A.G. Rittenhouse, and R.D. Semlitsch. 2008. Demographic consequences of terrestrial habitat loss for pool-breeding amphibians: Predicting extinction risks associated with core habitat size. Conservation Biology.  Online First.

Rittenhouse, T.A.G., and R.D. Semlitsch. 2007. Distribution of amphibians in terrestrial habitat surrounding wetlands. Wetlands 27: 153161.

Rittenhouse, T.A.G., and R.D. Semlitsch. 2007. Post-breeding habitat use by wood frogs in a Missouri oak-hickory forest. Journal of Herpetology 41: 645653. 

Rittenhouse, T.A.G., and R.D. Semlitsch. 2006. Grasslands as movement barriers for a forest-associated salamander: migration behavior of adult and juvenile salamanders at a distinct habitat edge. Biological Conservation 131: 1422.



Last updated: September 15, 2008

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