Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Biology

Date of Award

5-2011

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas F. Laughlin

Committee Members

James R. Stewart, Fred J. Alsop III

Abstract

Spotted Salamanders, Ambystoma maculatum, are a widely distributed pond-breeding amphibian that spends an estimated 95% of its life in woodlands surrounding breeding ponds. Their terrestrial ecology remains poorly understood. Few studies have tracked the movement patterns of Spotted Salamanders, and they have given limited information on fine scale patterns. Studies of distribution around vernal pool environments have brought increased attention to their terrestrial ecology. To this end I tracked a sample of Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagged animals with a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID). Quadrat-variance methods and a Poisson distribution were used to analyze spatial distribution patterns over 2 years. The home range size of 10 Spotted Salamanders was calculated using the revised minimum area method. A clumped distribution was found at larger spatial scales, except in the first year of the study. Home range size was shown to be limited and highly variable among 10 individuals (Mean=4.29m2, Standard Deviation=6.25).

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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