Study

Evaluating methods to restore amphibian habitat in fire-suppressed pine flatwoods wetlands

  • Published source details Gorman T.A., Haas C.A. & Himes J.G. (2013) Evaluating methods to restore amphibian habitat in fire-suppressed pine flatwoods wetlands. Fire Ecology, 9, 96-109.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cut large trees/shrubs to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater swamps

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation

Use herbicide to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater swamps

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Cut large trees/shrubs to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater swamps

    A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after, site comparison study in 2009–2011 of 19 ephemeral freshwater swamps in Florida, USA (Gorman et al. 2013) found that cutting and applying herbicide to midstory vegetation reduced canopy cover one year later, but had no significant effect on ground cover or basal area. One year before intervention, treated swamps had higher canopy cover (55%) than untreated high-quality swamps (36%). One year after intervention, canopy cover in treated swamps had declined to 41%: not significantly different from the 37% cover in high-quality swamps. In untreated low-quality swamps, canopy cover was 49–54%. Other vegetation metrics showed statistically similar responses over time (one year before vs one year after intervention) in both treated and untreated swamps. This was true for herbaceous ground cover (treated: 23% vs 17%; high-quality: 48% vs 37%; low-quality: 22% vs 19%) and the basal area of woody vegetation (treated: 14% vs 12%; high-quality: 10% vs 9%; low-quality: 16% vs 15%). Methods: In August–September 2010, excessive woody vegetation – that had grown following suppression of dry season fires – was removed from eight swamps (<6 ha). Midstory vegetation (<12.7 cm trunk diameter) was cut and removed, then herbicide (triclopyr) was applied to stumps. Note that this study evaluates the combined effect of cutting and applying herbicide. Vegetation was not treated in seven additional overgrown swamps (“low-quality habitat” for wildlife) or in four additional swamps without a dense midstory (“high-quality habitat” for wildlife). Vegetation was surveyed in each swamp in autumn 2009 and 2011. Canopy cover included the midstory and overstory. Herb cover was estimated in one 0.1-m2 quadrat/swamp.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

  2. Use herbicide to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater swamps

    A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after, site comparison study in 2009–2011 of 19 ephemeral freshwater swamps in Florida, USA (Gorman et al. 2013) found that cutting and applying herbicide to midstory vegetation reduced canopy cover one year later, but had no significant effect on ground cover or basal area. One year before intervention, treated swamps had higher canopy cover (55%) than untreated high-quality swamps (36%). One year after intervention, canopy cover in treated swamps had declined to 41%: not significantly different from the 37% cover in high-quality swamps. In untreated low-quality swamps, canopy cover was 49–54%. Other vegetation metrics showed statistically similar responses over time (one year before vs one year after intervention) in both treated and untreated swamps. This was true for herbaceous ground cover (treated: 23% vs 17%; high-quality: 48% vs 37%; low-quality: 22% vs 19%) and the basal area of woody vegetation (treated: 14% vs 12%; high-quality: 10% vs 9%; low-quality: 16% vs 15%). Methods: In August–September 2010, excessive woody vegetation – that had grown following suppression of dry season fires – was removed from eight swamps (<6 ha). Midstory vegetation (<12.7 cm trunk diameter) was cut and removed, then herbicide (triclopyr) was applied to stumps. Note that this study evaluates the combined effect of cutting and applying herbicide. Vegetation was not treated in seven additional overgrown swamps (“low-quality habitat” for wildlife) or in four additional swamps without a dense midstory (“high-quality habitat” for wildlife). Vegetation was surveyed in each swamp in autumn 2009 and 2011. Canopy cover included the midstory and overstory. Herb cover was estimated in one 0.1-m2 quadrat/swamp.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

Output references
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