POPULATION ECOLOGY OF THE NORTHERN SLIMY SALAMANDER (PLETHODON GLUTINOSUS) IN EAST-CENTRAL ILLINOIS
The importance of plethodontid salamanders in forested habitats has been recognized for decades and more recently plethodontids have been touted as a model taxon for monitoring ecosystem integrity and recovery. However, basic demographic data that are crucial to conservation and management plans are currently lacking for many species and regions. The objectives of our study were to characterize the population density, biomass, and capture success of a peripheral population of Plethodon glutinosus to provide a comparison for eastern populations and set a baseline for future monitoring of Midwestern populations. We estimated the population density of P. glutinosus at our site to be 0.41 salamanders/m2, with an estimated biomass of 0.70 g/m2. We did not find any evidence for temperature or precipitation affecting capture success. Our results showed that our density estimate falls within the range of other population ecology studies of Plethodon and sets a baseline for other peripheral Midwestern populations.
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