Study

Influence of coarse woody debris on the soricid community in southeastern Coastal Plain pine stands

  • Published source details Davis J.C., Castleberry S.B. & Kilgo J.C. (2010) Influence of coarse woody debris on the soricid community in southeastern Coastal Plain pine stands. Journal of Mammalogy, 91, 993-999.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Leave standing deadwood/snags in forests

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Leave coarse woody debris in forests

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Add woody debris to landscapes

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Leave standing deadwood/snags in forests

    A replicated, controlled study in 2007–2008 of three stands of loblolly pine Pinus taeda in South Carolina, USA (Davis et al. 2010) found that increasing the amount of forest standing deadwood increased the abundance of one of three shrew species compared to removing dead wood but not compared to in unmanipulated plots. More southeastern shrews Sorex longirostris were caught in plots with increased standing deadwood quantities (0.046 shrews/m of drift fence) than in plots cleared of fallen debris (0.013). Neither treatment differed significantly from the quantity in unmanipulated plots (0.026). There were no significant differences between treatments for southern short-tailed shrew Blarina carolinensis (standing deadwood: 0.069 shrews/m of drift fence; debris cleared: 0.051; unmanipulated: 0.058) or North American least shrew Cryptotis parva (standing deadwood: 0.004 shrews/m of drift fence; debris cleared: 0.014; unmanipulated: 0.015). Three plots, each 9.3 ha, were located in each of three loblolly pine stands, planted in 1950–1953. In each stand, standing deadwood quantities were increased tenfold in one plot in 2001, by ringbarking and injecting herbicide into trees, in another plot woody debris ≥10 cm across and ≥60-cm long was removed annually from 1996 and one plot was unmanipulated. Shrews were sampled across plots for 14 days, on seven occasions, from January 2007 to August 2008. Shrews were caught in 19-l plastic buckets, connected by drift fencing.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

  2. Leave coarse woody debris in forests

    A replicated, controlled study in 2007–2008 of three stands of loblolly pine Pinus taeda in South Carolina, USA (Davis et al. 2010) found that increasing coarse wood debris quantity increased the abundance of two of three shrew species compared to removing debris, but not compared to leaving debris as it fell. More southeastern shrews Sorex longirostris were caught in plots with increased coarse woody debris quantities (0.057 shrews/m of drift fence) than in plots cleared of fallen debris (0.013). Numbers in neither treatment differed significantly from those in unmanipulated plots (0.026). The same pattern was seen for southern short-tailed shrew Blarina carolinensis (increased debris: 0.105 shrews/m of drift fence; debris cleared: 0.051; unmanipulated: 0.058). However, there were no differences between treatments for North American least shrew Cryptotis parva (increased debris: 0.012 shrews/m of drift fence; debris cleared: 0.014; unmanipulated: 0.015). Three plots, each 9.3 ha, were located in each of three loblolly pine stands planted in 1950–1953. In each stand, woody debris quantities were increased fivefold in one plot in 2001 by felling trees, decreased in one plot by annually removing woody debris ≥10 cm across and ≥60 cm long from 1996 and left as it fell in one plot. Shrews were sampled across plots for 14 days, during seven seasons, from January 2007 to August 2008. Shrews were caught in 19-l plastic buckets connected by drift fencing.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

  3. Add woody debris to landscapes

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1996–2008 in a loblolly pine Pinus taeda forest in South Carolina, USA (Davis et al. 2010, same experimental set-up as Owens et al. 2008) found that increasing downed coarse woody debris had no effect on lizard or snake abundance, species richness or diversity compared to not manipulating debris. After adding debris, snake abundance, richness and diversity were similar (abundance: 0.03 individuals/m drift fencing, species richness: 0.02 species/m drift fencing, diversity: 0.003 Shannon-Wiener Index), to unmanipulated plots (0.04, 0.04, 0.01), but less than in plots with debris removed (0.07, 0.04, 0.01). For lizards there was no difference between adding (abundance: 0.15 individuals/m drift fence, species richness: 0.07 species/m drift fence, diversity: 0.02 Shannon-Wiener Index), not managing (0.01, 0.07, 0.02) or removing debris (0.15, 0.07, 0.02). Nine ha plots in three pine stands (approximately 45 years old, three plots/stand) were managed by: increasing volume of downed woody debris five-fold by felling trees (initiated 2001, to 59 m3/ha in 2007); no manipulation of woody debris (initiated 1996, 13 m3/ha woody debris); removing all downed woody debris ≥10 cm diameter and ≥60 cm in length by hand (initiated 1996, to 0.24 m3/ha in 2006). All plots were prescribed burned in 2004. Reptiles were sampled for 14 days/plot in each of seven seasons (January 2007–August 2008) using drift fences with pitfall traps.

    (Summarised by: Kasper Meijer)

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