Study

Grassland fire and cattle grazing regulate reptile and amphibian assembly among patches

  • Published source details Larson D. (2014) Grassland fire and cattle grazing regulate reptile and amphibian assembly among patches. Environmental Management, 54, 1434-1444.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Modify grazing regime: Grassland & shrubland

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Use prescribed burning in combination with grazing

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Use prescribed burning: Grassland & shrubland

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Modify grazing regime: Grassland & shrubland

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2011–2012 in four riparian grasslands in Missouri, USA (Larson 2014) found that light grazing resulted in lower reptile species richness compared to heavy grazing after prescribed burning, but similar richness compared to ungrazed areas. The effects of heavy grazing and burning cannot be separated and all results reported as statistical model outputs. Reptile species richness was slightly lower in lightly grazed plots and ungrazed plots compared to heavily grazed and burned plots. Turtle presence was associated with taller grass heights linked with light grazing, lizards were associated with burned and heavily grazed plots, and snakes were associated with 70–100% grass cover habitat that occurred the year following burning. Patches of four watersheds (10–54 ha) were treated with light grazing (May–July 2011 or 2012), burning followed by heavy grazing (May–July after April burning in 2011 or 2012), or unmanaged during the preceding five years. Reptile monitoring took place 2–3 times/month in March–May 2011–2012 using coverboards and visual encounter surveys.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Use prescribed burning in combination with grazing

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2011–2012 in four riparian grasslands in Missouri, USA (Larson 2014) found that prescribed burning with heavy grazing and burning alone increased reptile species richness compared to no management. All results were reported as statistical model outputs. Reptile species richness was slightly higher in burned and grazed or burned plots compared to unmanaged or lightly grazed plots. Six turtles were found dead as a result of fire (two ornate box turtles Terrapene ornata, a western painted turtle Chrysemys picta bellii and three unidentified species). Snake presence was associated with 70–100% grass cover habitat that occurred the year following burning, lizards were associated with burned or burned and heavily grazed plots, and turtles were associated with taller grass heights linked with light grazing. Patches of four watersheds (10–54 ha) were treated with combinations of prescribed burning alone (April 2011 or 2012), or light grazing (May–July 2011 or 2012), or burning followed by heavy grazing (May–July after April burning in 2011 or 2012), or unmanaged during the past five years. Reptile monitoring took place 2–3 times/month in March–May 2011–2012 using coverboards and visual encounter surveys.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  3. Use prescribed burning: Grassland & shrubland

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2011–2012 in four riparian grasslands in Missouri, USA (Larson 2014) found that areas with prescribed burning had higher reptile species richness compared to unburned areas. All results were reported as statistical model outputs. Reptile species richness was slightly higher in burned plots compared to unburned plots. Six turtles were found dead as a result of fire (two ornate box turtles Terrapene ornata, a western painted turtle Chrysemys picta bellii and three unidentified species). Snake presence was associated with 70–100% grass cover habitat that occurred the year following burning. Lizards were associated with burned or burned and heavily grazed plots, and turtles were associated with taller grass heights linked with light grazing. Patches of four watersheds (10–54 ha) were treated with prescribed burning (April 2011 or 2012) or were unmanaged during the past five years. Reptile monitoring took place 2–3 times/month in March–May 2011–2012 using coverboards and visual encounter surveys.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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