|SREL Reprint #0863|
and Dynamics of Two Breeding Populations of the Eastern Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma
The structure and dynamics of two populations of the
eastern tiger salamander, Ambystoma t. tigrinum, were
studied during four breeding seasons (1978-1982) in South Carolina.
Drift fences with pitfall traps completely encircled two breeding sites
so that a census of all breeding adults and metamorphosing juveniles was
achieved each year.
Breeding migrations of adults began in late October or November for males
and November through February for females. Peak immigration occurred in January or February but varied
annually depending on climatic conditions.
Peak emigration occurred in either February or March.
Breeding population size and sex ratio varied annually between sites.
The largest number of adults was observed in 1978-1979 and 1981-1982 and
the smallest number in 1980-1981, with an average of 87 and 24 adults for the
two study sites. Metamorphic
success was apparently related to the amount of time breeding sites retained
water during the larval period. Total
production of juveniles varied annually from 0 to 1,041 or at a rate of 0-23.7
juveniles per breeding female.
The physical characteristics inherent at ephemeral
breeding sites and annual variation in climatic conditions may account for much
of the variation in the number of breeding adults and metamorphosing juveniles.
Environmental factors that affect the drying rate of ponds were
implicated as influencing the population size of A. tigrinum that
breed in ephemeral ponds.
SREL Reprint #0863
Semlitsch, R.D. 1983. Structure and dynamics of two breeding populations of the eastern tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum. Copeia 1983:608-616.