U.S. Geological Survey Home Page USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Science Meetings; dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Dedicated to Chan Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Poster Abstracts from USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Science Meetings, October, 2006
Patuxent Science Meeting 2006 Poster Abstract

Stream salamander species richness in relation to environmental

factors in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Grant EHC, Jung RE, Rice KC (USGS-WR)

Stream salamanders are known to be sensitive to acid mine drainage and may be sensitive to

acidification and low acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of a watershed. Streams in Shenandoah

National Park, Virginia, are subject to episodic acidification from precipitation events. We

surveyed streams in Shenandoah National Park for salamanders at sites selected using a

stratified random sampling design based on elevation, aspect, and bedrock geology. We

investigated the relationships of four species of stream salamanders (Eurycea bislineata,

Desmognathus fuscus, D. monticola, and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) to macro- and micro-

habitat and water quality variables using 25 m by 2 m transects located on the stream bank

adjacent to the water channel. Results suggest that stream salamanders may be affected by

the acid-base status of streams in Shenandoah National Park. Desmognathus spp. and E.

bislineata were found in streams that had a higher potential to neutralize acidification. More

neutral pH values, higher density of cover objects and higher elevation streams had greater

abundances of total streamside salamanders and Desmognathus fuscus and D. monticola

combined counts. Our sampling method preferentially detected adult age classes of the study

species and did not allow us to estimate population sizes. Uncertainties regarding the effects

of stream acidification on salamander populations must be addressed on a temporal and

experimental scale relevant to amphibian populations.

Friday, September 22, 2006

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