Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Thomas Pauley

Second Advisor

Dan Evans

Third Advisor

F. Robin O’Keefe

Fourth Advisor

Frank Gilliam

Fifth Advisor

Tom Jones


Habitat destruction, fragmentation and degradation have contributed heavily to the decline of amphibian populations such as Marbled Salamanders (Ambystoma opacum). Often, ambystomatid water resources are conserved without consideration for the equally important terrestrial habitat. This is partly due to a lack of information regarding the relationship between ecological succession, plant community composition, microhabitat and salamander abundance. Three sampling transects consisting of drift fence arrays, vegetation assessments and microhabitat surveys were extended 100 m into the terrestrial habitat surrounding a seasonal wetland at Beech Fork State Park in Wayne County, West Virginia. Principal components analysis was used to identify habitat gradients. Stepwise multiple regressions were used to develop predictive models for Marbled Salamander abundance using raw data and principal components. Models predicted much of the variation in my data set r2 = .9974, .8804 for raw data and principal components respectively. Inverse Distance Weighting was used to explore spatial relationships between variables. This study suggests that Marbled Salamanders are associated with late seral forests, and a high abundance of microhabitat.


Salamanders -- Habitat -- West Virginia -- Wayne County.

Beech Fork State Park (W. Va.)

Parks -- West Virginia -- Wayne County.