Red-Backed Salamander Abundance Relative to Plant Community Composition of a Transitional Northern Hardwood Forest

A 28 acre transitional northern hardwood forest was surveyed for Plethodon cinereus density in addition to conducting adjacent vegetation surveys using plotless and quadrat techniques. Due to higher shading from a dense canopy cover, substantial ground litter layer and a high soil pH, it is hypothesized that P. cinereus density is higher in areas where higher basal areas of deciduous trees exist versus coniferous trees. The data show higher capture numbers in areas of high dominance of coniferous trees such as white pine. The data did not support this hypothesis and as such, failed to reject the null hypothesis. Small sample size and lack of group identification skills were likely sources of error in this study.