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Title: Amphibian distributions in riparian and upslope areas and their habitat associations on managed forest landscapes in the Oregon Coast Range

Author: Kluber, Matthew R.; Olson, Deanna H.; Puettmann, Klaus J.;

Date: 2008

Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 256: 529-535

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Over the past 50 years, forested landscapes of the Pacific Northwest have become increasingly patchy, dominated by early-successional forests. Several amphibian species associated with forested headwater systems have emerged as management concerns, especially after dearcutting. Given that headwater streams comprise a large portion of the length of flowing waterways in western Oregon forests, there is a need to better understand how forest management affects headwater forest taxa and their habitats. Mitigation strategies include alternatives to clearcutting, such as harvests that remove only part of the canopy and maintenance of riparian buffer strips. Our study investigates effects of upland forest thinning coupled with riparian buffer treatments on riparian and upland headwater forest amphibians, habitat attributes, and species-habitat associations. Amphibian captures and habitat variables were examined 5 to 6 years postthinning within forest stands subject to streamside-retention buffers and variable-width buffers, as well as unthinned reference stands. We found no treatments effects; however, our results suggest that ground surface conditions (e.g., amount of rocky or fine substrate) play a role in determining the response of riparian and upland amphibians to forest thinning along headwater streams. Distance from stream was associated with amphibian abundance; hence retention of riparian buffers is likely important in maintaining microclimates and microhabitats needed for amphibians and other taxa. Moderate thinning and preservation of conditions in riparian and nearby upland areas by way of variable-width and streamside-retention buffers may be sufficient to maintain suitable habitat and microclimatic conditions vital to amphibian assemblages in managed headwater forests.

Keywords: Amphibians, density management, habitat, managed headwater forests, riparian buffers

Publication Notes:

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Kluber, Matthew R.; Olson, Deanna H.; Puettmann, Klaus J. 2008. Amphibian distributions in riparian and upslope areas and their habitat associations on managed forest landscapes in the Oregon Coast Range. Forest Ecology and Management. 256: 529-535


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