Term of Award

1998

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Biology

Committee Chair

David C. Rostal

Committee Member 1

William Irby

Committee Member 2

John Parrish

Abstract

Snakes were captured on Fort Stewart Army Reservation in two mesic forest types. Using drift fences with pitfall and funnel traps placed around temporary wetlands. Precipitation and temperature were recorded, and a canopy cover survey performed. Snakes captured over 30 cm snout - vent length were scale clipped for identification. Smaller snakes were examined and any distinguishing marks noted. All snakes were measured, weighed and sexed. Snake density was positively correlated with temperature and amphibian movement and negatively correlated with precipitation. Individual species showed various correlations differing from total snakes. Coluber constrictor abundance was positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with precipitation. Nerodia fasciata abundance was positively correlated with temperature, but was not correlated with precipitation. Thamnopbis sauritus abundance was not correlated with temperature nor with precipitation. Thamnopbis sirtalis abundance was not correlated with temperature, but was negatively correlated with precipitation. Diversity was highest in lowland mesic pine forests and dominance values were greatest in upland mesic pine forests. Snake abundance showed no correlation with canopy cover except at one site in the lowlands. Juvenile, subadults and small species of snakes dominated the population. Adults were not caught in sufficient numbers from any species, except Coluber constrictor, to warrant analysis of sex ratios. The sex of Coluber constrictor adults did not differ significantly from the expected 1:1.

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