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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Efficacy of riparian buffers in mitigating local population declines and the effects of even-aged timber harvest on larval salamanders

Published source details

Peterman W.E. & Semlitsch R.D. (2009) Efficacy of riparian buffers in mitigating local population declines and the effects of even-aged timber harvest on larval salamanders. Forest Ecology and Management, 257, 8-14


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Retain riparian buffer strips during timber harvest Amphibian Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2005–2007 of salamanders in five headwater streams in North Carolina, USA (Peterman & Semlitsch 2009) found that retaining 30 m riparian buffers during timber harvest maintained salamander populations. Two-lined salamander Eurycea wilderae larvae were significantly more abundant within 30 m buffers (413 larvae) and unharvested streams (171–533) than in streams with 9 m or no buffers (72–73). However, black-bellied salamanders Desmognathus quadramaculatus showed no difference in abundance between treatments (25–34 larvae). Treatments were timber harvest with riparian buffers of 0, 9 or 30 m retained on both sides of the stream. The two controls were no harvest. Timber was harvested in 2005–2006. Salamanders were monitored within three 40 m sampling blocks along streams in May–August 2006 (9 m buffer and controls) and 2007 (all sites). Animals were captured using 48 leaf litter bags/site each 1–2 weeks.