Study

Reptile assemblage response to restoration of fire-suppressed longleaf pine sandhills

  • Published source details Steen D.A., Smith L.L., Conner L.M., Litt A.R., Provencher L., Hiers J.K., Pokswinski S. & Guyer C. (2013) Reptile assemblage response to restoration of fire-suppressed longleaf pine sandhills. Ecological Applications, 23, 148-158.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning in combination with herbicide application

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Use prescribed burning in combination with vegetation cutting

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Use prescribed burning: Forest, open woodland & savanna

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning in combination with herbicide application

    A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 1995–2010 in fire-suppressed longleaf pine Pinus palustris forest in Florida, USA (Steen, Smith, Conner et al. 2013, same experimental set-up as Steen, Smith, Morris et al. 2013) found reptile community composition responded differently to herbicide treatment followed by burning or to burning alone when compared to unburned areas. All results reported as statistical model outputs, see original paper for details. Reptile communities in sites treated with herbicide then burned remained similar to unburned sites and different to areas of pristine habitat (1–2 years post treatment). Reptile communities in sites that were only burned were different to both unburned sites and areas of pristine habitat. After 10–12 years of all sites receiving regular burning, all reptile communities became similar to areas of pristine habitat. See original paper for details of individual species responses to management. Reptiles were monitored in four sites (81 ha each) each managed by: prescribed burning (April–June 1995, 4 sites), using herbicides (May 1995, 4 sites) with burning (1997), or unburned and no herbicide until after 1999 when all sites were burned at 2–3-year intervals. Reptiles were also monitored a further four sites in an area of pristine habitat with a history of regular fires. Reptiles were surveyed using drift fences with pitfall traps (16 traps/site) in April–August 1997–1998 and May–September 2009–2010.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Use prescribed burning in combination with vegetation cutting

    A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 1995–2010 in fire-suppressed longleaf pine Pinus palustris forest in Florida, USA (Steen, Smith, Conner et al. 2013 , same experimental set-up as Steen, Smith, Morris et al. 2013) found that cutting vegetation prior to burning resulted in reptile assemblages becoming similar to both unburned areas and areas of more pristine habitat. All results reported as statistical model outputs, see original paper for details. Reptile communities in sites treated by cutting vegetation followed by burning were similar to unburned sites and areas of more pristine habitat, but composition was initially different to burn only areas. After a further 10–12 years of all sites receiving regular burning, all reptile communities became similar to areas of pristine habitat. See original paper for details of individual species responses to management. Reptiles were monitored in four sites each (81 ha each) managed by: vegetation cutting (felling and girdling in June–November 1995, 4 sites) with burning (1997), prescribed burning (April–June 1995, 4 sites),  or unmanaged until after 1999 when all sites were burned at 2–3 year intervals. Reptiles were also monitored a further four sites in an area without historical fire suppression. Reptiles were surveyed using drift fences with pitfall traps (16 traps/site) in April–August 1997–1998 and May–September 2009–2010.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  3. Use prescribed burning: Forest, open woodland & savanna

    A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 1995–2010 in fire-suppressed longleaf pine Pinus palustris forest in Florida, USA (Steen, Smith, Conner et al. 2013, same experimental set-up as Steen, Smith, Morris et al. 2013) found that after regular prescribed burning to remove hardwood trees, reptile assemblages became similar to more pristine sites that had historically experienced frequent fires. All results reported as statistical model outputs, see original paper for details. After 10 years of regular prescribed burning to remove invasive hardwood trees, reptile assemblages in prescribed burning sites were similar to sites that had historically experienced frequent fires. See original paper for details of individual species responses to management. Reptiles were monitored in four sites (81 ha) each that were managed by prescribed burning (April–June 1995, four sites) or were unburned until after 1999 when all sites were burned at 2–3-year intervals. Reptiles were also monitored a further four sites in an area without historical fire suppression. Reptiles were surveyed using drift fences with pitfall traps (16 traps/site) in April–August 1997–1998 and May–September 2009–2010.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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