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Title: Plethodontid salamander distributions in managed forest headwaters in western Oregon

Author: Olson, Deanna H.; Kluber, Matthew R.;

Date: 2014

Source: Herpetological Conservation and Biology

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: We examined terrestrial amphibians in managed headwater forest stands in western Oregon from 1998 to 2009. We assessed: (1) temporal and spatial patterns of species capture rates, and movement patterns with distance from streams and forest management treatments of alternative riparian buffer widths and upland thinning; (2) species survival and recapture probabilities; and (3) artificial cover object (ACO) sampling utility. We captured over 1,300 animals, primarily Ensatina eschscholtzii, Plethodon vehiculum, and P. dunni. We found spatial and temporal variation in capture rates over time for P. vehiculum, but these patterns appeared unrelated to forest management treatments. Although captures were evenly distributed between near-stream (<15 m from stream edge) and upland (> 15 m) ACO arrays, species distributions differed with distance from stream. Most movements were short (< 10 m), near streams, and between adjacent ACOs. Using markrecapture methods (2006−2009) we found no difference in apparent survival among the three species. ACOs were effective, but we offer caveats on their utility. Our results suggest that riparian corridors are highly used by both semi-aquatic and upland salamanders, and movements among surface cover objects occur on the order of a few meters. Headwater riparian areas may act as habitat ‘funnels’ for these animals, where movements are concentrated within and along narrow stream-side zones. Positioning of upland down wood in ‘chains’ extending out from riparian area funnels is proposed to facilitate overland habitat connectivity for salamander dispersal. At larger spatial scales, landscape chains of connectivity may be designed with log links connecting riparian and upland areas.

Keywords: amphibians, artificial cover objects, dispersal, Ensatina, movements, Plethodon

Publication Notes:

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Olson, Deanna H.; Kluber, Matthew R. 2014. Plethodontid salamander distributions in managed forest headwaters in western Oregon. Herpetological Conservation and Biology. 9(1): 76-96.


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