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Terrestrial salamanders are vulnerable to changes in the forest-floor microclimate as a result of canopy thinning by the hemlock woolly adelgid. A study conducted in the Highlands of Macon County, North Carolina concluded that as long as leaf litter remained moist and intact, the long-term impact of canopy thinning will likely be minimal.
The relative abundance of streamside salamanders and the availability of protective cover was assessed at three study sites along Mill Creek in Highlands, Macon County, North Carolina. Area-constrained searches of rocks demonstrated a significant reduction in salamander diversity as a result of severe sedimentation and loss of microhabitat.