Little is known of Four-Toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum) habitat use, despite the species' extensive range and elevated conservation status. We investigated species-habitat relationships that predict H. scutatum nesting presence in Maine at wetland and microhabitat scales by comparing microhabitats with and without nests. We created logistic regression models, selected models with AIC, and evaluated models with reserve data. Wetlands with nests were best predicted by shoreline microhabitat of Sphagnum spp., wood substrate, water flow, blue-joint reed grass (Calamagrostis canadensis), meadowsweet (Spiraea alba), steeplebush (Spiraea tomentosa), sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis), and absence of sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) or deciduous forest canopy. Within occupied wetlands, shoreline microhabitat where nests occurred was best distinguished from available, unoccupied shoreline microhabitat by steeper shore, greater near-shore and basin water depth, deeper nesting vegetation, presence of moss spp. and winterberry (Ilex verticillata), and a negative association with S. alba, leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), and K. angustifolia. These models of wetland and microhabitat use by H. scutatum may assist ecologists and managers in detecting and conserving this species. Copyright 2006 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.
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Wetland and microhabitat use by nesting four-toed salamanders in Maine