Herpetofauna of the cedar glades and associated habitats of the Inner Central Basin of middle Tennessee

Matthew L Niemiller, R. Graham Reynolds, Brad M. Glorioso, Jeremy Spiess, Brian T. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The cedar glades and barrens of the Inner Central Basin (ICB) of middle Tennessee support a unique and diverse flora and fauna and represent some of the state's most valued natural areas. We conducted herpetofaunal inventories of the cedar glades, associated barrens, cedar-hardwood forest, and adjacent aquatic habitats of the Stones River drainage of Middle Tennessee, focusing our sampling effort primarily at seven state- or federally owned properties in Rutherford and Wilson counties. These properties included Stones River National Battlefield (SRNB), Flat Rock State Natural Area (FRSNA), Vesta Cedar Glade State Natural Area (VSNA), Fall Creek Recreation Area (FCRA) on J. Percy Priest Wildlife Management Area, Cedars of Lebanon State Forest (CLSF), Cedars of Lebanon State Forest Natural Area (CLSNA), and Cedars of Lebanon State Park (CLSP). We used a variety of inventory techniques in terrestrial, aquatic, and subterranean habitats to survey these properties periodically from 1989 to 2010. We documented 49 species (22 amphibian and 27 reptile) accounting for 75.4% of the 65 herpetofaunal species thought to occur in the ICB, including records for Cemophora coccinea, Aneides aeneus, Gyrinophilus palleucus, Ambystoma barbouri, and Pseudotriton montanus. We found differences in alpha and beta diversity between sites, with the CLSF complex containing a high of 41 herpetofaunal species and FRSNA containing a low of 23 species. Beta diversity comparisons indicated similarity in amphibian species composition between FRSNA and CLSF and between SRNB and CLSF (9 shared species), and in reptile species composition between VSNA and the CLSF complex (16 shared species). We compare the results of our inventory with two previous studies conducted in the area and discuss the relative abundance, conservation, and threats to the herpetofaunal community of these habitats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-141
Number of pages15
JournalHerpetological Conservation and Biology
Volume6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

Keywords

  • Amphibians
  • Cedar glades
  • Conservation
  • Diversity
  • Reptiles
  • Tennessee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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  • Cite this

    Niemiller, M. L., Graham Reynolds, R., Glorioso, B. M., Spiess, J., & Miller, B. T. (2011). Herpetofauna of the cedar glades and associated habitats of the Inner Central Basin of middle Tennessee. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 6(1), 127-141.