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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Abundance of amphibians and reptiles was lower in a pine stand subjected to annual burns compared to an unburned stand in the USA

Published source details

McLeod R.F. & Gates J.E. (1998) Response of herpetofaunal communities to forest cutting and burning at Chesapeake Farms Maryland. American Midland Naturalist, 139, 164–177


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

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

A controlled study in 1992–1993 of pine stands in Maryland, USA (McLeod & Gates 1998) found that annual prescribed burns resulted in significantly lower amphibian abundance. Captures were significantly lower in the burned compared to unburned stand for total amphibians (74 vs 391), salamanders (8 vs 105), ranid species (6 vs 20) and frogs and toads (66 vs 214). The same was true for two of 10 frog and toad species, adults of two of four salamander species and young of the year for three frog species. The other species showed no significant difference between treatments. Study sites were an unburned mixed pine-hardwood stand (5 ha) and a pine stand (4 ha) that had been burned annually since 1981, with alternating thirds being burned from 1988. Monitoring was undertaken using three drift-fences with pitfall and funnel traps per site in March–July 1992–1993.