Changes in vertebrate community at Powdermill Nature Reserve over a 37-year period
Determining how habitat alterations affect biodiversity is critical for conservation efforts. These changes over time can be monitored through mark-recapture and using G.I.S. to analyze changes in the landscape. Climate change in particular has largely altered natural ecosystems which in turn has led to shrinking body size and homogenization of communities.
For this study, our goal is to replicate a study conducted in 1982-1983 to assess how these vertebrate communities have changed over the last 40 years. We installed pitfall traps and wooden cover boards to capture vertebrates with a focus on amphibians. This ongoing study has detected 4 frog/toad, 10 salamander, and 2 snake species so far.