Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Predation on invertebrates by woodland salamanders increases carbon capture

Date:
March 10, 2014
Source:
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Summary:
Woodland salamanders perform a vital ecological service in American forests by helping to mitigate the impacts of global warming. Woodland salamander predation on invertebrates indirectly affects the amount of leaf litter retained for soil-building where nutrients and carbon are captured at the litter-soil interface.

This is a female woodland salamander subject animal.
Credit: Garth Hodgson (USFS)

Woodland salamanders perform a vital ecological service in American forests by helping to mitigate the impacts of global warming.

Related Articles


Global warming occurs when greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. Woodland salamanders facilitate the capture of this carbon before it is released by feeding on invertebrates (beetles, earthworms, snails, ants, etc.) that would otherwise release carbon through consumption of fallen leaves and other forest debris. Woodland salamanders are the most common vertebrate species in American forests; consequently, these small, seldom-seen animals may play a significant role in regulating the capture of carbon from leaf litter in forest soils.

Dr. Hartwell Welsh, Jr., research wildlife biologist at the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW), helped conduct a study in Northwestern Calif. that examined how woodland salamander predation on invertebrates indirectly affects the amount of leaf litter retained for soil-building where nutrients and carbon are captured at the litter-soil interface.

The objective of the study was to investigate the role of salamanders in regulating invertebrate abundances and how that influenced leaf litter retention. The study included soil moisture as a covariate, and field enclosures on the forest floor to quantify the effects of woodland salamanders. The study was conducted over two rainy seasons, and found that woodland salamander predation on invertebrates suppressed some populations of invertebrates and released others, with the overall result of increased litter retention and carbon capture in the soil. However, the strength of the effect was modulated by the timing and amount of precipitation.

This research is unique and important, and will increase public understanding of how the impacts of global warming may be countered and raise awareness of the ecological role woodland salamanders play in the forest carbon cycle. "The renowned evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson once said it is the little things that run the world," Dr. Welsh said. "While Wilson probably had in mind invertebrates, I think he would agree that our research on the influence of one of the primary predators on invertebrates, and their influence on the forest carbon cycle, is a good example of what he was talking about."

Further information: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/45487


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Predation on invertebrates by woodland salamanders increases carbon capture." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310141119.htm>.
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. (2014, March 10). Predation on invertebrates by woodland salamanders increases carbon capture. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310141119.htm
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Predation on invertebrates by woodland salamanders increases carbon capture." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310141119.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins