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Post-disturbance efects of even-aged timber harvest on stream salamanders in southern Appalachain forest
Author: Crawford, J.A.; Sernlitsch, R.D.;
Source: Animal Conservation 11(2008) 369-376 p. Division of Biolgical Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Habitat degradation and fragmentation has received increased attention in the past 15 years as a primary factor responsible for the decline of many species of wildlife including amphibians. In the eastern USA many of the studies have focused on fully terrestrial plethodontid salamanders, while information on stream-breeding plethodontids remain relatively lacking. Using two different survey methods (area constrained daytime searches and night-time visual encounter search), we estimated terrestrial habitat use and abundance for stream-breeding salamanders in three different tree stand age-classes in southern Appalachain streams from May to August 2005. We found that the overall stream salamander abundance and terrestrial habitat use was reduced in stands <40 years of age compared with stands 41-80 years old, and >81 years old. The decreased abundance and terrestrial habitat use was accompanied by a decrease in leaf litter depth, soil moisture and canopy cover. The Blue Ridge two-lined salamander Eurycea wilderae was the most affected salamander in the assemblage and we conservatively estimate at least 40 year recovery period for the assemblage to return to pre-disturbance levels. To protect stream amphibians, alternative silvicultural practices such as uneven-aged timber harvest (e.g. selective harvesting) must be considered.
Keywords: amphibian, Desmognathus, Eurycea, habitat, loss, logging.
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Crawford, J.A.; Sernlitsch, R.D. 2009. Post-disturbance efects of even-aged timber harvest on stream salamanders in southern Appalachain forest. Animal Conservation 11(2008) 369-376 p. Division of Biolgical Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.
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