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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Manipulation of coarse woody debris affected amphibian abundance and reptile abundance and diversity in South Carolina, USA

Published source details

Owens A.K., Moseley K.R., McCay T.S., Castleberry S.B., Kilgo J.C. & Ford W.M. (2008) Amphibian and reptile community response to coarse woody debris manipulations in upland loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 256, 2078-2083


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

Leave coarse woody debris in forests Amphibian Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1998–2005 of pine stands in South Carolina, USA (Owens et al. 2008) found that the removal of coarse woody debris did not effect amphibian abundance, species richness or diversity. Plots with all downed and standing woody debris removed did not differ significantly from controls in terms of abundance (1–2 vs 2), species richness (7 vs 7) or diversity (17–18 vs 19). The southern leopard frog Rana sphenocephala had greater capture rates with removal rather than addition of woody debris (0.11 vs 0.02/night). Treatments were randomly assigned to 9 ha plots within three forest blocks. The first set of treatments was undertaken in 1996–2001 and a second set in 2002–2005. Control plots had no manipulation of woody debris. Five drift-fence arrays with pitfall traps/plot were used for sampling in 1998–2005.

 

(Summarised by Rebecca K Smith)

Leave standing deadwood/snags in forests Amphibian Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1998–2005 of pine stands in South Carolina, USA (Owens et al. 2008) found that amphibian abundance, species richness and diversity did not differ with removal or creation of snags within forest. Abundance, species richness and diversity did not differ significantly between plots with 10-fold increase in snags (1/night; 7; 17 respectively), removal of all snags and downed course woody debris (2; 7; 18) and unmanipulated controls (2; 7; 19). Captures of anurans, salamanders and six individual species did not differ between treatments. Treatments were randomly assigned to 9 ha plots within three forest blocks. The first set of treatments was undertaken in 1996–2001 and the second set in 2002–2005. Five drift-fence arrays with pitfall traps/plot were used for sampling in 1998–2005.

 

Create refuges Amphibian Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1998–2005 of pine stands in South Carolina, USA (Owens et al. 2008) found that adding coarse woody debris to forest did not effect amphibian abundance, species richness or diversity. Plots with added downed woody debris did not differ significantly from controls in terms of amphibian abundance (1–2 vs 2), species richness (6–7 vs 7) or diversity (17 vs 19). One species, the southern leopard frog Rana sphenocephala, had lower capture rates with the addition compared to removal of woody debris (0.02 vs 0.11/night). Treatments were randomly assigned to 9 ha plots within three forest blocks. The first set of treatments was undertaken in 1996–2001 and a second set in 2002–2005. Woody debris was increased five-fold. Control plots had no manipulation of woody debris. Five drift-fence arrays with pitfall traps/plot were used for sampling in 1998–2005.