Project Title

Variation in larval period, size, and abundance of the southern two-lined salamander, Eurycea cirrigera, across an urban gradient

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Todd Pierson

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Members of the Eurycea bislineata (two-lined salamander) species complex are known to have variable larval periods, often ranging from one to three years. In some regions, larval period is longer in higher-order streams, likely due to differences in the thermal profiles between stream orders. Similarly, other studies have linked increased stream temperatures with increased larval size and shorter larval periods in Eurycea wilderae. In eastern United States watersheds, growing urbanization threatens to alter stream systems, often leading to local extirpations of sensitive salamander species and potential alterations to the life histories of the remaining populations. We investigated how larval period, size, and abundance vary across an urban gradient in the southern two-lined salamander, Eurycea cirrigera, a species that persists in many urban streams. We focused on how water temperature, impervious surface of the surrounding drainage basin, and stream bottom composition affect the larval period, size, and abundance of E. cirrigera at 14 sites in Atlanta, GA. Our results expand our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of E. cirrigera life history as well as the impacts of urbanization on this important stream species, helping to more thoroughly assess the ecological implications of urban development.

Disciplines

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Variation in larval period, size, and abundance of the southern two-lined salamander, Eurycea cirrigera, across an urban gradient

Members of the Eurycea bislineata (two-lined salamander) species complex are known to have variable larval periods, often ranging from one to three years. In some regions, larval period is longer in higher-order streams, likely due to differences in the thermal profiles between stream orders. Similarly, other studies have linked increased stream temperatures with increased larval size and shorter larval periods in Eurycea wilderae. In eastern United States watersheds, growing urbanization threatens to alter stream systems, often leading to local extirpations of sensitive salamander species and potential alterations to the life histories of the remaining populations. We investigated how larval period, size, and abundance vary across an urban gradient in the southern two-lined salamander, Eurycea cirrigera, a species that persists in many urban streams. We focused on how water temperature, impervious surface of the surrounding drainage basin, and stream bottom composition affect the larval period, size, and abundance of E. cirrigera at 14 sites in Atlanta, GA. Our results expand our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of E. cirrigera life history as well as the impacts of urbanization on this important stream species, helping to more thoroughly assess the ecological implications of urban development.

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