Jami MacNeil (MS)

Jami MacNeil

Graduate Research Assistant
Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources
715 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061
email: jmacneil@purdue.edu

Past Projects


Immediate Post-Harvest Effects on Relative Abundance and Species Richness of Terrestrial Salamanders. Within the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) I am investigating the response of woodland salamanders to three different forest management types: no cut, uneven aged, and even-aged. One year of pre-harvest data was collected by use of artificial cover objects and quadrat (1m x 1m) surveys placed within and without areas designated for harvest. Post-harvest sampling began in spring of ’09 and will continue during fall and spring sampling periods into 2011. Salamander detection varies with weather patterns, so soil samples are taken to follow trends among detection and percent soil moisture. This project will provide insight into the immediate effects of forest treatments on salamander abundance and species composition, and provides the framework for continued monitoring to determine long-term impacts of treatments.

Silvicultural Edge Effects on Terrestrial Salamanders. Plethodontid salamanders are sensitive to changes in microhabitat, such as those brought about by silvicultural treatments. New openings in the forest experience greater exposure to sunlight and wind, which impact temperature, humidity, soil moisture, and erosion. These impacts may extend into the adjacent forest for some distance. In order to assess the edge effects of clear cuts on terrestrial salamanders, I have placed cover objects at distance intervals along 100m transects running from harvest into forest. Fine scale data on individual salamanders encountered will be collected during the fall and spring from spring 2010 to spring 2011. On a subset of the edge effects study sites each captured salamander is given a unique mark using fluorescent visible implant elastomer (VIE). The mark-recapture method on these sites will provide a means of estimating true abundance as well as detection probability. The cover object sampling will be complemented by measurements of habitat characteristics to gain a better picture of how salamander abundance, population demographics, and species composition change with distance from edge.

Presentations


  • Nov. 2010. Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment Research Meeting, Wright Center at Martell Research Forest, West Lafayette, Indiana. Oral Presentation: The Effects of Timber Harvests on Terrestrial Salamanders.
  • Sept. 2010. Meeting of the Purdue Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Oral Presentation: The Effects of Timber Harvesting on Terrestrial Salamanders.
  • Jun. 2010. Elderhostel, Wright Center at Martell Research Forest, West Lafayette, Indiana. Oral Presentation: Woodland Salamanders.