Book review: Behavioral ecology of the eastern red-backed salamander: 50 years of research

Herpetological Review
By:  and 



In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the British Ecological Society, Sutherland et al. (2013) identified 100 questions of fundamental significance in “pure” (i.e., not applied) ecology. A somewhat unexpected outcome of these authors’ exercise was the realization that, after 100 years of comprehensive, intensive scientific research, there remained “profound knowledge gaps” in ecology, such as a clear understanding of “the central mechanisms driving ecosystems…communities…, and even population dynamics.” Animal behavior (along with other attributes such as physiology and genetics) is such a mechanism that can structure ecological interactions, and the study of behavioral ecology provides important insights into many fundamental ecological phenomena. For example, the well-known historical characterization of ecology as the study of the distribution and abundance of organisms (Andrewartha and Birch 1954) invokes numerous questions, such as: what factors influence coexistence among competing species, or between predators and their prey? Ultimately, the answers to these and other questions are best addressed with fine-scale, mechanistic studies of habitat selection, foraging behavior/prey selection, and movement/dispersal behavior. Similarly, at the population level, insight into the spatial distribution of individuals could be gained with studies of territoriality, dominance hierarchies, and even mate choice.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Book review: Behavioral ecology of the eastern red-backed salamander: 50 years of research
Series title Herpetological Review
Volume 48
Issue 2
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 3 p.
First page 468
Last page 470
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details