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Final Report for Characterizing local and rangewide variation in demography and adaptive capacity of a forest indicator species


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The red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is considered an indicator of forest health. The range of the species covers much of the eastern and central US, and is often locally abundant where it occurs, primarily in deciduous forest. While there are expectations that changes in climate will result in changes in forest ecosystems, the ability of a forest indicator such as the red-backed salamander to adapt to those changes, has not been assessed. We found that the red-backed salamander may have little adaptive capacity, but that changes in climate conditions may be buffered by salamander behavior, including its typical response to retreat underground during times of high temperature or during short-term drought. Effective conservation [...]


Author :
Evan H Grant

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Grant_AdaptiveCapacityFinalReport.pdf 74.16 KB application/pdf


  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • Northeast CASC

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