The use of emergent rocks as refugia for the Cheat Mountain salamander, Plethodon nettingi green
Date of Award
College of Science
Type of Degree
Dr. Donald Tarter
Leonard J. Deutsch
Plethodon nettinqi was listed as a threatened species in 1989 by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Pauley, 1991). Its total range is within 5 counties in eastern West Virginia. There are fewer then 60 disjunct populations known and most populations are above 3,000 ft. and are associated with emergent rocks or narrow ravines with Rhododendron. It is hypothesized the P. netting! survived lumbering practices at the turn of the century by taking refuge beneath large emergent rocks and narrow ravines with Rhododendron. This study examined environmental factors associated with emergent rocks that might regulate the distribution of P. nettinqi. Two sites with emergent rocks where P. nettingi was known to occur were used as study sites and two sites with emergent rocks where P. nettinqi was known not to occur but were within the known range of P. nettinqi were used as controls. Each site was examined to determine the distance P. nettinqi extends beyond the rocks. Biological data such as snout-to-vent length, mass, and gender of each species observed and environmental factors including air temperature, soil temperature, relative humidity, soil moisture, soil pH, litter mass, and litter moisture were collected along 4 transects in each cardinal direction from the center of the rocks. Soil moisture, litter moisture, and litter mass appear to be important regulating environmental factors in the microhabitat selection of P. nettinqi
Woodland salamanders – Habitat.
Woodland salamanders – Ecology.
Salamanders – West Virginia.
Salamanders – Habitat.
Salamanders – Ecology.
Pauley, Beth Anne, "The use of emergent rocks as refugia for the Cheat Mountain salamander, Plethodon nettingi green" (1998). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 1782.
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