Experimental Array:

In 2003 - 2004, we established four replicate experimental arrays at each of the regional study sites: 1) Maine; 2) Missouri; and 3) South Carolina (Savannah River Site).

In South Carolina, the experimental arrays were centered on existing forested wetlands known as Carolina bays. The terrestrial habitat adjacent to each wetland was divided into four equal-sized quadrants. The radius of the array, measured from the edge of the wetland, is 170 m, a distance consistent with terrestrial habitat needs of salamander populations (i.e., 164 m is expected to encompass 95% of the population during the nonbreeding season; Semlitsch 1998). Each quadrant was randomly assigned a different treatment:

  1. complete clearing with coarse woody debris (CWD) removed,
  2. clearing with coarse woody debris retained,
  3. partial cutting (i.e. thinning) or,
  4. uncut forest control.

Target Species:

Wtihin each region, three amphibian species have initially been selected for demographic and behavioral studies. The species were selected to encompass important differences in life histories. Here in South Carolina, we are examining southern leopard frogs (Rana sphenocephala), southern toads (Bufo terrestris), and marbled salamanders (Ambystoma opacum ).

Key Components of Project:

  • Adult Migratory Success
  • Juvenile Migratory Success
  • Postmetamorphic Survival



Aerial view of LEAP array


Whit Gibbons and Betsie Rothermel marking a frog


Wetland filling with water