Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2016


Light pollution is known to be problematic for many nocturnal organisms, but our understanding of its effects on amphibians is relatively poor. This is particularly true for recently metamorphosed, as their small size makes them difficult to track. Our objectives were to determine if wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) and unisexual blue-spotted salamanders (Amybostoma laterale x jeffersonianum) select deciduous or coniferous leaf litter and if this behavior was affected by artificial light. We conducted choice experiments using 42 salamanders and 46 frogs placed in covered outdoor mesocosms. Each mesocosm was divided into half coniferous and half deciduous leaf litter and its underlying soil. Animals were given one night to choose a substrate, and their positions were recorded the next morning. We then conducted lighted trials in the same mesocosms, with a flashlight illuminating one substrate one night, and the other substrate the following night. Frogs did not have a leaf litter preference (p>0.20), and did not show a preference when either substrate was illuminated (p>0.20 with deciduous lit and 0.10