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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Woodland salamander response to two prescribed fires in the central Appalachians

Published source details

Ford W.M., Rodrigue J.L., Rowan E.L., Castleberry S.B. & Schuler T.M. (2010) Woodland salamander response to two prescribed fires in the central Appalachians. Forest Ecology and Management, 260, 1003-1009

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Use prescribed fire or modifications to burning regime in forests Amphibian Conservation

A replicated, controlled before-and-after study in 2001–2007 of hardwood forest in West Virginia, USA (Ford et al. 2010) found that although population responses were difficult to interpret following two prescribed fires, results suggested that there was no significant affect on the salamander assemblage. Mountain dusky salamanders Desmognathus ochrophaeus and red-backed salamander Plethodon cinereus counts were greater following burns compared to before burns or unburned controls. However, authors considered that this was due to increased use of artificial cover boards in response to reduced leaf litter following fires. Treatments were burn plots on upper slopes or lower slopes (n = 20), half of which were fenced and control plots that were unburned and unfenced (n = 4). Burns were in 2002–2003 and 2005. Cover board arrays were used to monitor salamanders before and after two fires in April-October in 2001–2007.