Study

The role of forest harvesting and subsequent vegetative regrowth in determining patterns of amphibian habitat use

  • Published source details Popescu V.D., Patrick D.A., HunterJr. M.L. & Calhoun A.J.K. (2012) The role of forest harvesting and subsequent vegetative regrowth in determining patterns of amphibian habitat use. Forest Ecology and Management, 270, 163-174.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Leave coarse woody debris in forests

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Thin trees within forests

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Leave coarse woody debris in forests

    In a continuation of a previous study (Patrick, Hunter & Calhoun 2006), a randomized, replicated, controlled study in 2004–2009 of mixed coniferous and deciduous forest wetlands in Maine, USA (Popescu, Patrick, Hunter Jr. & Calhoun 2012) found that overall there was no significant difference in abundance in clearcuts with woody debris retained or removed for four forest specialist and four generalist amphibian species. This was true for adults and juveniles immigrating and emigrating from breeding ponds. The one exception was that the abundance of spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum metamorphs was significantly higher in clearcuts with woody debris retained than in those where it was removed (2 vs 1). Treatments extended 164 m (2 ha) from each of four created breeding ponds and were cut in 2003–2004. Drift-fences with pitfall traps were installed around each pond at 2, 17, 50, 100 and 150 m from the edge. Monitoring was in April–September 2004–2009.

     

    (Summarised by: Rebecca K Smith)

  2. Thin trees within forests

    In a continuation of a previous study (Patrick, Hunter & Calhoun 2006), a randomized, replicated, controlled study in 2004–2009 of mixed forest wetlands in Maine, USA (Popescu et al. 2012) found that amphibian abundance in partially (50%) harvested forest was similar to unharvested forest for six of eight amphibian species and significantly lower for two species. Post-breeding, there were significant differences between partial, clearcut and unharvested treatments for wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus adults (partial: 0.4; unharvested: 0.5; clearcuts: 0.2) and juveniles (partial: 1.1; unharvested: 1.5; clearcuts: 0.9) and spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum juveniles (partial: 0.4; unharvested: 0.6; clearcuts: 0.2). Abundances during other times of year did not differ significantly for those two species. Post-breeding, partial harvest was used significantly more than clearcuts by the other two forest specialists, eastern red-spotted newts Notophthalmus viridescens (partial: 0.10; clearcuts: 0.06–0.08; unharvested: 0.13), red-backed salamanders Plethodon cinereus (partial: 0.2; unharvested: 0.2; clearcuts: 0.1). Abundance of four habitat generalist species did not differ between treatments. All treatments extended 164 m (2 ha) from each of four created breeding ponds and were harvested in 2003–2004. Drift-fences with pitfall traps were installed around each pond at 2, 17, 50, 100 and 150 m from the edge. Monitoring was in April–September 2004–2009.

     

Output references
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