Factors Affecting Red-Spotted Newt, Notophthalmus viridescens Abundance in the EdmQnd Niles Huyck Preserve
This study focused on identifying factors associated with Notophthalmus viridescens abundance within"the Edmond Niles Huyck preserve in RennselearvilIe, New York. Both rough categorization and quantitative factors were compared against eft abundance data for the year 2007 as well as a ten year data set. Rough categorizations included elevation, geographical location, amphibian removal status, and forest type. I analyzed rough categorizations factors through the use of univariate general linear models. Quantitative factors included soil moisture content, soil pH, and leaf litter depth. I also constructed stepwise linear regressions using quantitative factors. I confirmed quantitative observational findings through the use of habitat preference studies in the laboratory. For the year 2007, eft abundance was significantly different with respect to geographical location, elevation, amphibian removal status, and soil moisture. Eft abundance, when analyzed using the long term data set, was significantly influenced by geographical location, elevation, amphibian removal status, forest type, soil moisture, and leaf litter depth. Eft abundance increased as both soil moisture and leaf litter depth increased. I propose that these trends were due to eft life history and dispersal of eft from their natal ponds and their need for water, as they do not uptake in through their skin as most salamanders do. I suggest that leaf litter depth was important to efts because of its ability to retain water. Differences in results between the short term and long term data sets highlight the importance of continuous ecological studies, as many trends do not reveal themselves with short term studies.