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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual 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


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use herbicides to control mid-storey or ground vegetation Amphibian Conservation

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.

 

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

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.