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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The role of microhabitats in the desiccation and survival of amphibians in recently harvested oak-hickory forest

Published source details

Rittenhouse T.A.G., Harper E.B., Rehard L.E. & Semlitsch R.D. (2008) The role of microhabitats in the desiccation and survival of amphibians in recently harvested oak-hickory forest. Copeia, 2008, 807–814


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 replicated, site comparison study in 2005–2006 of microhabitats within clearcut oak–hickory forest in Missouri, USA (Rittenhouse et al. 2008) found that survival rates of juvenile amphibians were significantly higher within piles of woody debris than within open areas in clearcut forest (0.9 vs 0.2). Survival within clearcut brushpile was similar to that within unharvested sites (0.9). The proportion of water loss from animals was lower within woody debris than open areas for American toads Anaxyrus americanus (0.2–0.3 vs 0.3–0.6), green frogs Lithobates clamitans (0.2–0.4 vs. 0.6–0.7) and wood frogs Lithobates sylvaticus (0.1–0.4 vs 0.6–0.7). Water loss in unharvested sites was 0.2–0.4, 0.2–0.3 and 0.1 respectively. Open habitat and piles of coarse woody debris were selected within two clearcuts, where tree crowns had been retained during harvest in 2004. Unharvested forest was used as a reference. Captive-reared American toad and wood frog juveniles and wild-caught green frog metamorphs were placed in individual enclosures within treatments. There were four replicates. Animals were weighed every six hours for 24 hours.

 

(Summarised by Rebecca K Smith)