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Abstract

▪ Abstract 

Salamanders are cryptic and, though largely unrecognized as such, extremely abundant vertebrates in a variety of primarily forest and grassland environments, where they regulate food webs and contribute to ecosystem resilience-resistance (= stability) in several ways: () As mid-level vertebrate predators, they provide direct and indirect biotic control of species diversity and ecosystem processes along grazer and detritus pathways; () via their migrations, they connect energy and matter between aquatic and terrestrial landscapes; () through association with underground burrow systems, they contribute to soil dynamics; and () they supply high-quality and slowly available stores of energy and nutrients for tertiary consumers throughout ecological succession. Salamanders also can provide an important service to humans through their use as cost-effective and readily quantifiable metrics of ecosystem health and integrity. The diverse ecological roles of salamanders in natural areas underscore the importance of their conservation.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.35.112202.130116
2004-12-15
2024-04-20
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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