—Road and stream intersections require a crossing
that allows safe passage of water and vehicles. Culverts are
normally used when roads cross small streams. Recently,
passage of aquatic organisms through culverts has received
increased attention. We used a geographic information system
(GIS) analysis to determine the degree of salamander habitat
fragmentation in Tucker and Randolph counties in West
Virginia, USA. We visited state roads with culverts and
categorized salamander barriers as complete, partial, or
nonbarrier, based on outlet hang, culvert slope, and substrate.
Complete barriers occurred at 55.0% of the sites visited and
partial barriers at 34.2%. We found that 20.6% of the total
stream length in the Dry Fork watershed and 18.4% in the
Shavers Fork watershed were isolated by at least a partial
barrier. Outlet hang height and the presence (or absence) of
streambed substrate were the main determinants of stream
salamander passage. Outlet hang was positively correlated with
stream gradient and culvert slope. Culverts containing
streambed substrate occurred on lower gradient streams, had
lower culvert slope, and had a greater width compared to
culverts lacking substrate. Solutions to facilitate movement of
salamanders and other aquatic organisms are needed to
maintain stream connectivity and provide mitigation
—Stream salamanders, culverts, habitat
fragmentation, roads, streams, passage.
J. T. Anderson and J. T. Petty are with the Environmental Research Center
and Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, West Virginia University,
Morgantown, WV 26506 USA (e-mail: email@example.com).
R. L. Ward was with the Division of Forestry and Natural Resources,
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506 USA and is currently
with AllStar Ecology, Fairmont, WV 26554 USA.
J. S. Kite is with the Department of Geology and Geography, West
Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506.
M. P. Strager is with the Division of Resource Management, West
Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506 USA.
Cite:James T. Anderson, Ryan L. Ward, J. Todd Petty, J. Steven Kite, and Michael P. Strager, "Culvert Effects on Stream and Stream-Side Salamander Habitats," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 274-281, 2014.