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Short-Term Effects of Fuel Reduction Treatments on Herpetofauna from the Southeastern United States

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Abstract:

Path analysis of fuel reduction treatments on herpetofauna across four southeastern sites of the National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study provided quantitative evidence relating changes in vegetation and fuels to herpetofauna response. Fuel reduction treatments included prescribed burning (B), a mechanical treatment (M), mechanical treatment followed by prescribed burning (MB), and an untreated control (C). Treatment effects on herpetofauna response variables were predicted by the direct and indirect effects of stand basal area, coarse woody debris volume, native herb cover, and forest floor depth. Path models were solved for lizard, snake, and reptile response to fuel reduction treatments. Lizard and reptile abundance were higher in B and MB plots than in C and M plots. Increasing native herb cover best predicted lizard and reptile abundance within B and MB plots. Native herb cover, lizard, and reptile abundance were highest in B and MB plots, and each of these response variables responded positively to B and MB.

Keywords: Southeastern forests; forest management; herpetofauna; mechanical; path analysis; prescribed burning

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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