|Variation in Abundance of Salamanders in Four Selected Stream Habitats in Central Kentucky.|
|Ashley N. Curtis1, Joshua A. Hall1, Nadia A. Karkenny1, Sara A. Keller1, Michon A. Martin1, Brandi L. Vaughn1, Roy M. Scudder-Davis1|
The abundance of salamanders in four streams in Central Kentucky was monitored during the summer of 2012. Two “habitat island” streams were selected because of their isolation from surrounding habitat by the north- and south-bound lanes of Interstate 75. Two other streams that are not isolated from the surrounding habitat (“mainland habitats”) were selected for purposes of comparison. Four, thirty-meter long transects were established within each stream, and each stream was sampled six times during the study. Sampling sessions involved turning over objects in the stream bed, collecting the salamanders encountered, and photographing each specimen. The number of objects turned and the time spent sampling were recorded for each sampling session.
The number of salamanders encountered did not show a consistent pattern between island and mainland habitats. Streams varied significantly from each other in salamander density as measured by the number of objects turned per salamander (F=41.74, df 3, 20, p<0.001). Two other density measures, salamanders per minute (F=2.52, df 3, 20, p>0.05) and salamanders per square meter (F=1.70, df 3, 20, p>0.10) did not differ among the streams. The variation in density as measured by the number of objects turned can be related to the topography of the streams rather than to any real difference in the density of salamanders.
The streams did not differ significantly in number or density of salamanders. Although salamander abundance did not vary between mainland and island habitats, species diversity did vary between habitat types.