Response of reptile and amphibian communities to the reintroduction of fire in an oak/hickory forest

  • Published source details Hromada S.J., Howey C.A.F., Dickinson M.B., Perry R.W., Roosenburg W.M. & Gienger C.M. (2018) Response of reptile and amphibian communities to the reintroduction of fire in an oak/hickory forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 428, 1-13.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning: Forest, open woodland & savanna

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning: Forest, open woodland & savanna

    A replicated, controlled study in 2007–2016 of an oak/hickory forest in western Kentucky, USA (Hromada et al. 2018) found that overall snakes, two snake species and one lizard species, but not overall lizards were more abundant in prescribed burned areas compared to unburned areas. Abundance of snakes overall was significantly higher in burned than unburned plots, but abundance of lizards overall was not (data reported as model outputs). North American racer snakes Coluber constrictor, ring-necked snakes Diadophis punctatus and eastern fence lizards Scelophorus undulatus were more abundant in burned (racer snakes: 4–13; ring-necked snakes: 4–15; fence lizards: 11–45 individuals/100 fence nights) than unburned plots (racer snakes: 1–9; ring-necked snakes: 1–3; fence lizards: 5–18 individuals/100 fence nights), although the size of the effect varied by year. Abundance of all reptiles and reptile community structures were similar in burned and unburned plots (data reported as model outputs, see original paper for details). Prescribed burns took place in 2007 and 2010. Data were collected in four burned and four unburned 800 x 800 m study areas in spring and summer 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016. Reptiles were surveyed using drift fencing, pit fall and funnel traps. Reptiles captured included five snake and four lizard species.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

Output references
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