Study

Effects of clearcutting and site preparation on herpetofauna of a North Florida flatwoods

  • Published source details Enge K.M. & Marion W.R. (1986) Effects of clearcutting and site preparation on herpetofauna of a North Florida flatwoods. Forest Ecology and Management, 14, 177-192.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Leave woody debris in forests after logging

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Leave woody debris in forests after logging

    A site comparison study in 1978–1982 in pine forests in Florida, USA (Enge & Marion 1986) found that when woody debris was retained following clearcutting prior to replanting, reptile species richness and abundance was higher than when ground cover was cleared and burned prior to replanting. Three years after woody debris was retained prior to replanting, reptile species richness and abundance were higher (richness: 13 species/trapping array, abundance: 41 individuals/array) than after ground cover was cleared and burned (richness: 9, abundance: 19) and similar to uncut forest (richness: 15, abundance: 52). Overall burrow and refugia-dwelling reptiles and amphibians were more abundant in areas where woody debris was retained compared to where ground cover was cleared and burned or in uncut forest (see paper for individual species abundances). Two of three sites (49–140 ha) were clearcut in 1978 and then managed by retaining woody debris cover (in 1978: 59% harvested by chainsaw, January–August 1979: roller chopped twice) or clearing and burning cover (1978: 74% harvested by feller-buncher, January–August 1979: stump removal, burned, harrowed) prior to replanting in September–November 1979. Reptiles were sampled weekly from August 1981 to October 1982 using four drift fence arrays (four 7.5 x 50 cm galvanised flashing fences in a plus-shape with three aluminium window screen funnel traps on each arm) at all three sites.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

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