Variation in habitat and microhabitat can affect salamander populations. We systematically surveyed terrestrially active salamanders in an old forest tract and a young forest tract at the Powdermill Nature Reserve in southwestern Pennsylvania during 2009–2011. We examined the effect forest age had on the 2 salamander assemblage structures. While species compositions were similar, assemblage structures were uneven in both the old and young forest sites. Differential use of survey coverboards across species was detected at both sites. This difference in use may be best explained by ground-moisture levels as a function of coverboard distance to water. Counterintuitive findings of low numbers of Desmognathus ochrophaeus (Mountain Dusky Salamander) and Plethodon cinereus (Red-backed Salamander) compared to past studies at these 2 sites appears most likely related to differences in trapping methodology. Patterns of differential use of coverboards and inter-site differences in seasonal activity patterns point to P. glutinosus (Northern Slimy Salamander) as the least restricted species in terms of microhabitat conditions and most seasonally variable in activity.
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Vol. 26 • No. 3