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Herpetofaunal abundance in forested edge and interior locations of West VirginiaAuthor(s): James T. Anderson; Amy B. Solis; Joseph D. Osbourne
Source: In: Miller, Gary W.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Brooks, John R.; Grushecky, Shawn T.; Spong, Ben D.; Rentch, James S., eds. Proceedings, 18th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2012 March 26-28; Morgantown, WV; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-117. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 474-486.
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionThe diversity of forest types in the Central Appalachians provides important habitat for amphibians and reptiles. As development continues, increased fragmentation is evident on the landscape. The objectives of our study were to determine the influence of location within a forest (edge or interior) and landscape position (riparian and upland) on West Virginia herpetofaunal species abundance and diversity. Using drift fence arrays, we captured individuals from 17 amphibian species and 6 reptilian species during 43,144 trap-nights. Eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus Green) (30 percent of captures), wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus LeConte) (17 percent), eastern American toads (Anaxyrus a. americanus Holbrook) (16 percent), and red-spotted newts (efts) (Notophthalmus v. viridescens Rafinesque) (12 percent) were most commonly captured. Eastern American toads were more abundant in upland than riparian areas, and eastern red-backed salamanders, wood frogs and red-spotted newts were captured equally in riparian and upland areas. Wood frogs and red-spotted newts were encountered more frequently in interior than edge locations; red-backed salamanders and eastern American toads were captured equally in interior and edge locations. Northern slimy salamanders (P. glutinosus Green) were more abundant in upland than riparian areas and also were more abundant in interior than edge locations. Species richness and diversity were not different between locations or landscape position. Our results suggest that edges adversely impact abundance of some, but not all, species of amphibians and these influences are not dependent on the landscape position.
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CitationAnderson, James T.; Solis, Amy B.; Osbourne, Joseph D. 2013. Herpetofaunal abundance in forested edge and interior locations of West Virginia. In: Miller, Gary W.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Brooks, John R.; Grushecky, Shawn T.; Spong, Ben D.; Rentch, James S., eds. Proceedings, 18th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2012 March 26-28; Morgantown, WV; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-117. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 474-486.
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