Study

Capture rates of four of nine reptile and amphibian species were affected by forest restoration technique in the USA

  • Published source details Litt A.R., Provencher L., Tanner G.W. & Franz R. (2001) Herpetofaunal responses to restoration treatments of longleaf pine sandhills in Florida. Restoration Ecology, 9, 462-474

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use herbicides to control mid-storey or ground vegetation

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Use prescribed fire or modifications to burning regime in forests

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Use herbicides to control mid-storey or ground vegetation

    A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1997–1998 of pine sandhills in Florida, USA (Litt et al. 2001) found that understory removal using herbicide did not result in increased abundance of amphibians. In 1998, capture rates were significantly lower in understory removal plots and prescribed burning plots than fire suppressed (control) plots for southern toad Bufo terrestris (herbicide: 0.002; burn: 0; no burn: 0.008; reference: 0.003 captures/trap days). However, capture rates did not differ between understory removal, burned or fire suppressed treatments for oak toad Bufo quercicus or eastern narrowmouthed toad Gastrophryne carolinensis in 1998, or any species in 1997. In 1997 (not 1998), herpetofauna similarity indices indicated that burned plots were significantly more similar to reference (frequently burned) sites than understory removal or fire-suppressed plots (burn: 0.76; herbicide: 0.49; no burn: 0.49). Treatments were in randomly assigned 81 ha plots within four replicate blocks in spring 1997. Data were also collected from four frequently burned reference sites. Monitoring was undertaken using drift-fencing and pitfall traps in April–August 1997–1998.

     

  2. Use prescribed fire or modifications to burning regime in forests

    A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1997–1998 of pine sandhills in Florida, USA (Litt et al. 2001) found that prescribed burning resulted in similar or lower abundance of amphibians compared to unburned sites. In 1997 there was no significant difference between treatments for any species. In 1998, capture rates were significantly lower in prescribed burn plots and herbicide understory removal plots than fire suppressed (control) plots for southern toad Bufo terrestris (burn: 0; understory: 0.002; no burn: 0.008; reference: 0.003 captures/trap days). Capture rates did not differ between burned, understory removal or fire suppressed treatments for oak toad Bufo quercicus or eastern narrowmouthed toad Gastrophryne carolinensis. In 1997 (not 1998), similarity indices indicated that burned plots were significantly more similar to reference (frequently burned) sites than understory removal or fire suppressed plots (burn: 0.76; understory: 0.49; no burn: 0.49). Treatments were in randomly assigned 81 ha plots within four replicate blocks in spring 1997. Data were also collected from four frequently burned reference sites. Monitoring was with drift-fencing and pitfall traps in April–August 1997–1998.

     

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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