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Title: Effects of Prescribed Fire on Herpetofauna Within Hardwood Forests of the Upper Piedmont of South Carolina: A Preliminary Analysis

Author: Floyd, Thomas M.; Russell, Kevin R.; Moorman, Christopher E.; van Lear, David H.; Guynn, David C. Jr.; Lanham, J. Drew;

Date: 2002

Source: In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 123-127

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Despite a large body of knowledge concerning the use of prescribed burning for wildlife management, amphibians and reptiles (collectively, herpetofauna) have received relatively little attention regarding their responses to fire. With few exceptions, previous studies of herpetofauna and prescribed burning have been confined to fire-maintained, pine-dominated ecosystems in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. We initiated a study to examine effects of prescribed burning on herpetofauna in Piedmont upland hardwood stands. Linear drift fence arrays with pitfall traps were installed within control and treatment plots to assess effects of burn treatments through analysis of species captures. Treatment plots were subjected to low intensity winter and growing season fire. The initial prescribed burn treatments were implemented in February and March (1999) while the second prescribed burn treatments were implemented in April (2000). All treatment plots were burned with strip head fires set 10-20 feet apart resulting in flame lengths averaging less than 1 foot. Direct searching and drift fence sampling immediately after each prescribed burn revealed 1) no evidence of direct herpetofaunal mortality, and 2) no evidence of emigration from burn plots. Statistical analysis of data through the installation of the second burn (May 1999 through April 2000) revealed no significant difference between burned and unburned treatments for abundance, richness (S), diversity (H'), or evenness (J')(P > 0.1) of the herpetofaunal community.

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Floyd, Thomas M.; Russell, Kevin R.; Moorman, Christopher E.; van Lear, David H.; Guynn, David C., Jr.; Lanham, J. Drew 2002. Effects of Prescribed Fire on Herpetofauna Within Hardwood Forests of the Upper Piedmont of South Carolina: A Preliminary Analysis. In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 123-127

 


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