Study

Long-term effects of experimental forest harvesting on abundance and reproductive demography of terrestrial salamanders

  • Published source details Homyack J.A. & Haas C.A. (2009) Long-term effects of experimental forest harvesting on abundance and reproductive demography of terrestrial salamanders. Biological Conservation, 142, 110-121.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use leave-tree harvesting instead of clearcutting

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Use shelterwood harvesting instead of clearcutting

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Leave standing deadwood/snags in forests

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Harvest groups of trees instead of clearcutting

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Use herbicides to control mid-storey or ground vegetation

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Use leave-tree harvesting instead of clearcutting

    In a continuation of a previous study (Knapp et al. 2003), a randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1994–2007 of six hardwood forests in Virginia, USA (Homyack & Haas 2009) found that leave-tree harvesting did not result in higher salamander abundance compared to clearcutting up to 13 years after harvest. Abundance was similar between treatments (4 vs 2/transect respectively) and significantly lower than unharvested plots (7/transect). Proportions of juveniles and eggs/female were significantly lower in harvested (leave-tree, shelterwoods, group cutting and clearcut with wildlife trees or snags left) compared to unharvested treatments for mountain dusky salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus and juveniles for red-backed salamander Plethodon cinereus. Proportions of females carrying eggs for slimy salamander Plethodon glutinosus and southern ravine salamanders Plethodon richmondii were similar in harvested and unharvested plots. There were six sites with 2 ha plots randomly assigned to treatments: leave-tree harvest (25–45 trees/ha retained), clearcutting, other harvested treatments and an unharvested control. Treatments were in 1994–1998 and salamanders were monitored at night along nine 2 x 15 m transects/site.

     

  2. Use shelterwood harvesting instead of clearcutting

    In a continuation of a previous study (Knapp et al. 2003), a randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1994–2007 of six hardwood forests in Virginia, USA (Homyack & Haas 2009) found that shelterwood harvesting did not increase salamander abundance compared to clearcutting up to 13 years after harvest. Abundance was similar between treatments (4 vs 2/transect respectively) and significantly lower than unharvested plots (7/transect). Proportions of juveniles and eggs/female were significantly lower in harvested (leave-tree and group harvesting and clearcut with wildlife trees or snags left) compared to unharvested treatments for mountain dusky salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus and juveniles for red-backed salamander Plethodon cinereus. Proportions of females carrying eggs for slimy salamander Plethodon glutinosus and southern ravine salamanders Plethodon richmondii were similar in harvested and unharvested plots. There were six sites with 2 ha plots randomly assigned to treatments: shelterwood harvest (41% reduction), clearcutting, other harvested treatments and an unharvested control. Treatments were in 1994–1998 and salamanders were monitored at night along nine 15 x 2 m transects/site.

     

  3. Leave standing deadwood/snags in forests

    In a continuation of a previous study (Knapp et al. 2003), a randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1994–2007 of six hardwood forests in Virginia, USA (Homyack & Haas 2009) found that leaving scattered wildlife or dead trees did not result in higher salamander abundance compared to clearcutting up to 13-years post-harvest. Abundance was similar between treatments (3 vs 2/transect respectively) and significantly lower than unharvested plots (7/transect). Proportions of juveniles and eggs/female were significantly lower in harvested (clearcut with wildlife trees, shelterwoods, leave-tree and group harvesting) compared to unharvested treatments for mountain dusky salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus and juveniles for red-backed salamander Plethodon cinereus. Proportions of females carrying eggs for slimy salamander Plethodon glutinosus and southern ravine salamanders Plethodon richmondii were similar in harvested and unharvested plots. There were six sites with 2 ha plots randomly assigned to treatments: clearcutting with wildlife trees (<10 stems/ha), complete clearcutting, other harvested treatments and an unharvested control. Treatments were in 1994–1998 and salamanders were monitored at night along nine 2 x 15 m transects/site.

     

  4. Harvest groups of trees instead of clearcutting

    In a continuation of a previous study (Knapp et al. 2003), a randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1994–2007 of six hardwood forests in Virginia, USA (Homyack & Haas 2009), found that harvesting groups of trees did not result in higher salamander abundance compared to clearcutting up to 13 years after harvest. Abundance was similar between treatments (groups: 4; clearcutting: 2/transect) and significantly lower than unharvested plots (7/transect). Proportions of juveniles and eggs/female were significantly lower in harvested (group harvesting, shelterwoods, leave-tree harvesting and clearcut with wildlife trees or snags left) compared to unharvested treatments for mountain dusky salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus and juveniles for red-backed salamander Plethodon cinereus. Proportions of females carrying eggs were similar in harvested and unharvested plots for slimy salamander Plethodon glutinosus and southern ravine salamanders Plethodon richmondii. There were six sites with 2 ha plots randomly assigned to treatments: group harvesting (2–3 small area group harvests with selective harvesting between), clearcutting, other harvested treatments and an unharvested control. Treatments were in 1994–1998 and salamanders were monitored at night along nine 2 x 15 m transects/plot.

     

  5. Use herbicides to control mid-storey or ground vegetation

    In a continuation of a previous study (Knapp et al. 2003), a randomized, replicated, controlled study in 19942007 of six hardwood forests in Virginia, USA (Homyack & Haas 2009) found that salamander abundance was similar in plots with mid-storey herbicide treatment and without up to 13-years post-harvest (8 vs 7/transect). There were six sites with 2 ha plots randomly assigned to treatments: herbicide application (triclopyr and imazapyr) to reduce woody shrubs and a control with no management. Treatments were in 1994–1998 and salamanders were monitored at night along nine 15 x 2 m transects/site.

     

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