Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 2016


Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2016


Copyright © 2016 Aaron Devine


This study was done in an effort to better understand the multifaceted issues in amphibian decline, specifically within the eastern regions of Nebraska, to determine whether or not human-induced acid rain contributed to the decline. This is a heavily important topic of research as amphibians worldwide are declining related to many issues that stem from climate change and several other environmental issues of that nature. This study looked to use acidic pH within soil from western Nebraska to determine the reactionary impacts (primarily lesions) the western tiger salamander had after being subjected to it. It was found that pH did cause irritation in the skin among the test groups of the salamanders, but not lesioning. Over three months, the salamanders in the test groups observed had reddening of the skin occur on their ventral side and around their feet and toes. What was at the core of the cause of this reddening of skin was not known, and further studies will have to make sure that pH change does not trigger much more detrimental issues within salamander and amphibian decline, such as the deadly ranavirus or chytrid.