Effects of annual removal of Plethodon cinereus on plant diversity in the E.N. Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station
VanderHam, Ashley E.
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Biodiversity is essential to ecosystem maintenance and helps to stabilize ecosystems by making it easier to recover from disturbances, human or other (Gibert and Deharveng, 2002). One way to look biodiversity is through removal studies which eradicate a species or group that fills a certain niche and look at the effects on the ecosystem. The research presented in the following documentation is based on the longitudinal removal of the functional group amphibians from beech forest plots at the E.N. Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station. Taking advantage of the previously constructed plots, a survey of the plant community diversity was completed to examine the effects of removing the salamanders. The presence or absence of the red back salamander (Plethodon cinereus) should cause a difference in the plant diversity between the control and removal plots. A difference in plant diversity would show that the presence ,or absence, of Plethodon cinereus has an impact on ecosystem function.