What is it about?
We examined local (woody debris) and landscape (aspect, elevation) variable influence on salamanders in hardwood forest adjacent to maintained fields. We surveyed woodland salamander occurrence from June–August 2006 at 33 sites in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia. Salamander captures were greater within 60 m of field edges relative to more interior locations. Similarly, available coarse woody debris (CWD) proportion was greater within 0–60 m of field edge. Aspect had the greatest influence on salamander capture proportion within 20 m of field edge, indicating that fewer salamanders occurred within 20 m of opening edges on drier, hotter southwestern aspects than in moister, cooler northeastern aspects.
Why is it important?
Our results suggest that forest habitat adjacent to maintained edges with sufficient downed woody debris can provide suitable habitat for salamander species. Additionally, our research support the contention that edge effects are more severe on southwesterly aspects. These results underscore the importance of distinguishing among different edge types as well as placing survey locations within a landscape context when investigating edge impacts on woodland salamanders.
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This page is a summary of: Local and landscape scale factors influencing edge effects on woodland salamanders, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, May 2008, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s10661-008-0286-6.
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