Herpetofauna Communities and Habitat Conditions in Temporary Wetlands of Upland and Floodplain Forests on Public Lands in North-Central Mississippi
Edwards, Katherine E.
AdvisorJones, Jeanne C.
Temporary wetlands are important breeding sites for herpetofauna, including species of concern, but are often overlooked in conservation planning and management decisions. I conducted surveys of herpetofauna communities and quantified habitat variables surrounding isolated, upland and stream-connected ephemeral pools on Tombigbee National Forest and Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in north-central Mississippi from March 2004 ? March 2006 to compare herpetile species assemblages between different classes of temporary wetlands, determine use of pools as reproductive sites for amphibians, and determine faunal-habitat relationships for herpetofauna. Species richness and abundance of terrestrial herpetiles differed significantly between upland and floodplain pools. Upland pools contributed substantially more to the diversity of herpetiles than floodplain pools. Upland pools supported significantly greater abundance of larval Ambystomatid salamanders and central newts (larvae and adults). Forest overstory and ground coverage components influenced amphibian abundance such as abundance of mature trees, standing snags, downed woody debris, and litter depth.