Amphibian Cover-board Experiment -- Monthly Check

Red Eft Life Stage of the Red-spotted Newt
photo by James Fischer
We revisited the cover-board experiment grid and observed a few interesting patterns.  Faye Curran, a new student intern, helped us today with this project, please visit the blog in a couple days to read her introduction.  Recently, we have recorded almost 14 inches of rain from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.  Although most of the surface run-off has slowed, there is still quite a bit of water in the forest percolating into the soil column from vernal pools or bubbling out of springs.  The amphibian cover-boards encounter rate appears to have been affected by all of this precipitation.  A total of 65 of the 132 cover-board stations detected an amphibian, which is the second highest percentage of cover-board stations detecting amphibians since the project started 2.5 years ago.  We encountered a total of 79 Redback Salamander (Plethodon cinereus), 19 Red Eft (Notophthalmus viridescens), 2 Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata), 1 Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum), and 1 Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica).  The primary question of this project is to examine the differences between softwood and hardwood cover-boards amphibian detection rates using a pair-wise comparison experiment.  The softwood cover-boards detected a total of 57, while the hardwood boards detected 45 individuals.

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