Event Title

Population Ecology of Red-Backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Kerry Yurewicz

Abstract

The Red-Backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is a terrestrial species with a wide range across the northeastern United States and southern Canada. These salamanders can be very abundant within damp leaf litter and under rocks and logs. We have been studying this species at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in North Woodstock NH since Fall 2017 by recording data on salamanders from six 5 m x 10 m plots in the forest. Each fall and spring, we survey the salamanders at each plot on multiple dates. On each date, we measure the snout-vent length (SVL) and total length of each salamander found, and classify each as a male, female, or juvenile based on its SVL and physical characteristics. We also mark each with a unique color pattern that enables us to recognize individuals and use a mark-recapture method to estimate population size. The Red-Backed Salamander is an important indicator species of the condition of its habitat because of its sensitivity to environmental changes.

Location

Hartman Union Building Courtroom

Start Date

5-2-2019 4:00 PM

End Date

5-2-2019 5:00 PM

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May 2nd, 4:00 PM May 2nd, 5:00 PM

Population Ecology of Red-Backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest

Hartman Union Building Courtroom

The Red-Backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is a terrestrial species with a wide range across the northeastern United States and southern Canada. These salamanders can be very abundant within damp leaf litter and under rocks and logs. We have been studying this species at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in North Woodstock NH since Fall 2017 by recording data on salamanders from six 5 m x 10 m plots in the forest. Each fall and spring, we survey the salamanders at each plot on multiple dates. On each date, we measure the snout-vent length (SVL) and total length of each salamander found, and classify each as a male, female, or juvenile based on its SVL and physical characteristics. We also mark each with a unique color pattern that enables us to recognize individuals and use a mark-recapture method to estimate population size. The Red-Backed Salamander is an important indicator species of the condition of its habitat because of its sensitivity to environmental changes.