The distribution of the federally endangered Shenandoah Salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) is presumed to be limited by competition with the Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus). In particular, the current distribution of P. shenandoah is understood to be restricted to warmer and drier habitats because of interspecific interactions. These habitats may be particularly sensitive to climate change, though the influence of competition may also be affected by temperature and relative humidity. We investigated the response of P. shenandoah to competition with P. cinereus under four climate scenarios in 3-dimensional mesocosms. The results suggest that, although climate change may alleviate competitive pressure from P. cinereus, warmer temperatures may also significantly influence the persistence of the species across its known range.
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Vol. 51 • No. 2