Divergence of Trophic Morphology and Resource Use Among Populations of Plethodon Cinereus and P. Hoffmani in Pennsylvania
Species of the genus Plethodon are widely distributed in the forests of eastern and western North America. They are terrestrial salamanders that have no aquatic larval stage, and live in moist woodland habitats. Many species of Plethodon are believed to be territorial (Hairston, 1951, 1981; Jaeger, 1971, 1972, 1981; Highton 1995; Nishikawa 1985;), and intraspecific competition is thought to be for food resources and for direct access to foraging sites (Jaeger, 1972). Several species of Plethodon often co-inhabit a particular location, with as many as five sympatric species in some southern Appalachian localities (Highton 1995). Therefore, the likelihood of ecological interactions among congeners is high, and competitive exclusion has been suggested as a possible mechanism that affects species distributions (Hairston 1951),(Highton 1995;Jaeger 1971).
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