Rick Van de Poll
Department of Environmental Studies
Terrestrial salamanders were sampled in three different forest age classes in western Massachusetts from mid-May through mid-September of 1998. Using a non-destructive removal technique, fifty coverboards were placed in a 90-meter-square grid in each of three sites of different forest age classes; old growth, second-growth and recently clearcut. Two species of salamander were captured: 96 eastern redbacks (plethodon cinereus) and 1 two-lined salamander (Eurycea bislineata). Of the total 97 salamanders, 23 (24%) were captured in the old-growth site, 38 (39%) in the second-growth site and 36 (37%) in the recently cut (seed tree regeneration) site. The captured salamanders were uniformly distributed across Sites A and B, but were clumped along one edge of Site C. The lower number of salamanders captured at Site A may be due to less surface activity because of a greater abundance of natural cover objects and a deeper litter layer. The clumping of captures as well as the higher ratio of juveniles (sub-adults included) captured in Site C (41.66%) most likely indicates recruitment into newly vacated territories of salamanders from adjacent mature forest stands. No significant difference was found in the mean snout-to-vent length (SVL) of salamanders from the three sites. Recover of the salamander population in Site C may be consistent with recovery rates on recently clearcut plots in other regions.