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1 March 2002 Evaluation of Coverboards for Sampling Terrestrial Salamanders in South Georgia
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Abstract

We conducted a field study to evaluate whether coverboards are as effective for sampling terrestrial salamanders as searching natural cover objects such as fallen logs and branches. At each of five sites in Jenkins County, Georgia, we paired a grid of 100 wooden coverboards (30.4 × 30.4 × 2 cm) placed 10 m apart with an adjacent grid containing only natural debris. Searches under coverboards detected most of the same species (Plethodon ocmulgee, Eurycea cirrigera, Eurycea quadridigitata, and Eurycea guttolineata) as found under natural cover (same four species plus Ambystoma opacum). However, salamanders were encountered at lower average rates under coverboards (0.8 salamanders per grid search) than under natural cover (2.3 salamanders per grid search), and this pattern was consistent across seasons. The number of salamanders encountered was more variable within coverboard grids than within grids of natural cover; mean encounter rates were equally variable among grids for the two techniques. For the most commonly encountered species (P. ocmulgee), individuals from coverboards were similar in size to those found under natural cover. There was no tendency for coverboards to accumulate more salamanders through time. Temperatures were more variable under coverboards than under natural cover.

C. Michael Houze and C. Ray Chandler "Evaluation of Coverboards for Sampling Terrestrial Salamanders in South Georgia," Journal of Herpetology 36(1), 75-81, (1 March 2002). https://doi.org/10.1670/0022-1511(2002)036[0075:EOCFST]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 1 June 2001; Published: 1 March 2002
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