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Individual study: Influence of coarse woody debris on herpetofaunal communities in upland pine stands of the southeastern Coastal Plain

Published source details

Davis J.C., Castleberry S.B. & Kilgo J.C. (2010) Influence of coarse woody debris on herpetofaunal communities in upland pine stands of the southeastern Coastal Plain. Forest Ecology and Management, 259, 1111-1117

Summary

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Amphibians

Leave standing deadwood/snags in forests

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1996-2008 in a loblolly pine Pinus taeda forest in South Carolina, USA (Davis et al. 2010) found that increasing standing course woody debris had no effect on amphibian abundance, species richness or diversity. There was no difference between areas of increased standing woody debris (abundance: 0.13, species richness: 0.07, diversity: 0.02) and control areas with no manipulation of debris (abundance: 0.07, species richness: 0.05, diversity: 0.01). Treatments were randomly assigned within three pine stands (approximately 45 years old): control with no manipulation of woody debris (initiated 1996, 13 m3/ha woody debris) and standing woody debris increased 10-fold by girdling then injecting with herbicide (initiated 2001, to 35 m3/ha woody debris in 2007). Treatments were carried out within plots of 9.3 ha (6 ha core trapping area, 3.3 ha buffer zone). All plots were prescribed burned in 2004. Amphibians were sampled for 14 days/plot in each of seven seasons (January 2007-August 2008) using pitfall traps along cross-shaped drift-fence arrays.  (Kasper Meijer)

Leave coarse woody debris in forests

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1996-2008 in a loblolly pine Pinus taeda forest in South Carolina, USA (Davis et al. 2010) found that increasing or removing downed course woody debris had no effect on amphibian abundance, species richness or diversity. There was no difference between areas of increased woody debris (abundance: 0.09, species richness: 0.05, diversity: 0.02), decreased woody debris (abundance: 0.11, species richness: 0.08, diversity: 0.02) or control areas with no manipulation of debris (abundance: 0.07, species richness: 0.05, diversity: 0.01). Treatments were randomly assigned within three pine stands (approximately 45 years old): control with no manipulation of woody debris (initiated 1996, 13 m3/ha woody debris); all downed woody debris ≥10 cm diameter and ≥60 cm in length removed by hand (initiated 1996, to 0.24 m3/ha in 2006); and volume of downed woody debris increased five-fold by felling trees (initiated 2001, to 59 m3/ha in 2007). Treatments were carried out within plots of 9.3 ha (6 ha core trapping area, 3.3 ha buffer zone). All plots were prescribed burned in 2004. Amphibians were sampled for 14 days/plot in each of seven seasons (January 2007-August 2008) using pitfall traps along cross-shaped drift-fence arrays.  (Kasper Meijer)

 

Reptiles

Leave standing deadwood/snags in forests

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1996-2008 in a loblolly pine Pinus taeda forest in South Carolina, USA (Davis et al. 2010) found that increasing standing course woody debris had no effect on reptile abundance, species richness or diversity. Abundance, species richness and diversity were similar between areas with increased standing woody debris (abundance: 0.18, species richness: 0.10, diversity: 0.03) and control areas with no manipulation of debris (abundance: 0.15, species richness: 0.11, diversity: 0.03). Treatments were randomly assigned within three pine stands (approximately 45 years old): control with no manipulation of woody debris (initiated 1996, 13 m3/ha woody debris) and standing woody debris increased 10-fold by girdling then injecting with herbicide (initiated 2001, to 35 m3/ha woody debris in 2007). Treatments were carried out within plots of 9.3 ha (6 ha core trapping area, 3.3 ha buffer zone). All plots were prescribed burned in 2004. Reptiles were sampled for 14 days/plot in each of seven seasons (January 2007-August 2008) using pitfall traps along cross-shaped drift-fence arrays.  (Kasper Meijer)

 

Leave coarse woody debris in forests

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1996-2008 in a loblolly pine Pinus taeda forest in South Carolina, USA (Davis et al. 2010) found that increasing or removing downed course woody debris had no effect on lizard or snake abundance, species richness or diversity compared to control areas. Although snake abundance, richness and diversity were higher in debris removal (abundance: 0.07, species richness: 0.04, diversity: 0.01) than debris addition areas (abundance: 0.03, species richness: 0.02, diversity: 0.003), neither treatment differed from control areas (abundance: 0.04, species richness: 0.04, diversity: 0.01). For lizards there was no difference between removal (abundance: 0.15, species richness: 0.07, diversity: 0.02), addition (abundance: 0.15, species richness: 0.07, diversity: 0.02) or control areas (abundance: 0.01, species richness: 0.07, diversity: 0.02). Treatments were randomly assigned within three pine stands (approximately 45 years old): control with no manipulation of woody debris (initiated 1996, 13 m3/ha woody debris); all downed woody debris ≥10 cm diameter and ≥60 cm in length removed by hand (initiated 1996, to 0.24 m3/ha in 2006); volume of downed woody debris increased five-fold by felling trees (initiated 2001, to 59 m3/ha in 2007). Treatments were carried out within plots of 9.3 ha (6 ha core trapping area, 3.3 ha buffer zone). All plots were prescribed burned in 2004. Reptiles were sampled for 14 days/plot in each of seven seasons (January 2007-August 2008) using pitfall traps along cross-shaped drift-fence arrays.  (Kasper Meijer)