Study

Short-term response of shrews to prescribed fire and mechanical fuel reduction in a Southern Appalachian upland hardwood forest

  • Published source details Greenberg C.H., Miller S. & Waldrop T.A. (2007) Short-term response of shrews to prescribed fire and mechanical fuel reduction in a Southern Appalachian upland hardwood forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 243, 231-236

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove understorey vegetation in forest

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Use prescribed burning

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Remove understorey vegetation in forest

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2003–2004 in North Carolina, USA (Greenberg et al. 2007) found that mechanically removing understorey vegetation in forest, to reduce fuel load and associated wildfire risk, did not increase shrew abundance compared to using prescribed fire. The number of shrews caught did not differ significantly between understorey removal plots and prescribed burning plots in the first year (understorey removal: 22 shrews/plot; burning: 15) or the second year (understorey removal: 7 shrews/plot; burning: 6) after treatments were applied. Plots (each >14 ha) were established in three blocks. Within each block, understorey growth was mechanically felled in one plot in winter 2001–2002 and prescribed burning was carried out in a different plot in March 2003. Shrews were surveyed using pitfall traps and drift fencing over 123 nights in 2003 and 125 nights in 2004.

  2. Use prescribed burning

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2003–2004 in a mixed forest site in North Carolina, USA (Greenberg et al. 2007) found that prescribed fire did not alter abundances of four shrew species. In both sampling years, numbers of northern short-tailed shrews Blarina brevicaua caught did not differ between plots that were burned (2–6 animals/plot) and plots that were not burned (3–10 animals/plot). The same pattern was seen for smoky shrews Sorex fumeus (1–2 animals/plot vs 1–2 animals/plot), American pygmy shrews Sorex hoyi (2–4 animals/plot vs 0–2 animals/plot), and southeastern shrew Sorex longirostris (1–4 animals/plot vs 1–­5 animals/plot). In each of three blocks, established in 2001, one plot was burned in March 2003 and one plot was not burned. Plots were >14 ha. Shrews were surveyed using pitfall traps and drift fencing over 123 nights in 2003 and 125 nights in 2004.

Output references

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