Researching Indigenous Salamanders
Every fall semester students in General Ecology spend weeks collecting and analyzing data on the abundance of redback salamander in different forest stand types. Probably the most abundant vertebrate in our forests, red-backed salamander are both predator and prey. Their abundances have been used to indicate overall health of forest ecosystems in the northeast. By annual sampling of their abundances in the same area of PSC’s forested lands, students are part of long-term monitoring of amphibians while they learn the details of how to conduct research. With the changing climate, these moisture-sensitive species may portend changes in other members of their forest communities.