Controlled burns resulted in higher species diversity and abundance of reptiles and amphibians in Florida, USA

  • Published source details Mushinsky H.R. (1985) Fire and the Florida sandhill herpetofaunal community: with special attention to responses of Cnemidophorus sexlineatus. Herpetologica, 41, 333–342


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed fire or modifications to burning regime in forests

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Use prescribed fire or modifications to burning regime in forests

    A controlled, site comparison study in 1982–1983 of sandhill-scrub habitat in west central Florida, USA (Mushinsky 1985) found that controlled burns resulted in higher species diversity and abundance of amphibians. The 7-year burn cycle plot had the greatest number of species in both years (7-year cycle: 16–20; 2-year: 10–15; 1-year: 14–16; unburned: 10–15). Although burn plots had a greater fluctuations in species diversity over the two years than the unburned plot, numbers of captures were higher. Captures tended to be highest in 7- and 1-year burn plots (7 years: 115–307; 2 years: 102–187; 1 year: 126–203; unburned: 71–125). The 1-year cycle was most consistent for supporting high numbers of individuals and species. A 1 ha plot was established for each burn cycle in adjacent strips. These were compared to a plot unburned for 20 years. Burns were in May–June. Five drift-fence arrays with pitfall traps and an artificial cover board were established/plot. Traps were checked 5–6 times/week in April–October 1983–1984.


Output references

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