Title

5. The influence of localized ecological variables on southern Appalachian salamander populations

Faculty Mentor(s)

Jessica Patterson

Campus

Dahlonega

Proposal Type

Poster

Subject Area

Biology

Location

Nesbitt 3110

Start Date

23-3-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

23-3-2018 12:00 PM

Description/Abstract

Amphibians are an essential group of organisms for understanding ecological dynamics due to their acute sensitivity to temperature, precipitation, and other environmental variables, as well as their vital role in forest floor communities. Northeast Georgia is an important region in the study of amphibians, particularly salamanders, due to the elevated diversity of plethodontid salamanders in the southern Appalachian Mountains. In this study, we utilized drift fences paired with pitfall traps to survey local salamander populations in two forest sites adjacent to Hurricane Creek in Lumpkin County, Georgia to investigate the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on diversity and ecology. Prior to constructing our drift fences, we implemented a point quarter tree survey method to quantitatively assess differences in vegetation cover in two areas of our locality. A portion of forest dominated by planted loblolly pine was compared to one with heterogeneous hardwood diversity. We monitored our traps daily over a 90-day period and collected ambient temperature, soil temperature, air humidity, light intensity and soil pH data. Our findings indicate that our two localities differ in salamander community composition, but are similar in terms of most of the abiotic variables that we measured. These findings indicate that extremely localized biotic and abiotic variables influence salamander distribution in northern Georgia.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 23rd, 11:00 AM Mar 23rd, 12:00 PM

5. The influence of localized ecological variables on southern Appalachian salamander populations

Nesbitt 3110

Amphibians are an essential group of organisms for understanding ecological dynamics due to their acute sensitivity to temperature, precipitation, and other environmental variables, as well as their vital role in forest floor communities. Northeast Georgia is an important region in the study of amphibians, particularly salamanders, due to the elevated diversity of plethodontid salamanders in the southern Appalachian Mountains. In this study, we utilized drift fences paired with pitfall traps to survey local salamander populations in two forest sites adjacent to Hurricane Creek in Lumpkin County, Georgia to investigate the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on diversity and ecology. Prior to constructing our drift fences, we implemented a point quarter tree survey method to quantitatively assess differences in vegetation cover in two areas of our locality. A portion of forest dominated by planted loblolly pine was compared to one with heterogeneous hardwood diversity. We monitored our traps daily over a 90-day period and collected ambient temperature, soil temperature, air humidity, light intensity and soil pH data. Our findings indicate that our two localities differ in salamander community composition, but are similar in terms of most of the abiotic variables that we measured. These findings indicate that extremely localized biotic and abiotic variables influence salamander distribution in northern Georgia.