Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (822 KB)

Title: Prescribed fire and timber harvest effects on terrestrial salamander abundance, detectability, and microhabitat use

Author: O'Donnell, Katherine M.; Thompson, Frank R. III; Semlitsch, Raymond D.;

Date: 2015

Source: The Journal of Wildlife Management. 79(5): 766-775.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Prescribed fire and timber harvest are anthropogenic disturbances that modify resource availability and ecosystem structure, and can affect wildlife both directly and indirectly. Terrestrial salamanders are effective indicators of forest health due to their high abundance and sensitivity to microclimatic conditions. Given their ecological importance, it is critical to understand how forest salamanders respond to management-related disturbances. We predicted that timber harvest and prescribed fire would decrease salamander abundance and availability, and increase salamander cover object use. We surveyed for southern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon serratus) over 9 sampling periods from 2010 to 2014 in a Missouri Ozark (USA) forest, and used binomial mixture models to estimate abundance and detectability in a large-scale Before-After, Control-Impact (BACI) experiment. Five replicate 5-ha units were randomly assigned to each treatment (prescribed burn, shelterwood harvest, midstory herbicide) and control. We compared abundance, surface activity, detectability, and microhabitat use among treatments. Abundance and surface activity decreased post-treatment in shelterwood, midstory, and burn units. Abundance estimates in midstory and burn units rebounded in the second post-treatment year but declined further in shelterwood harvest units. Overall, treatments had stronger effects on salamander availability than on actual abundance. We also found a higher proportion of salamanders under cover objects after prescribed fire, further illustrating the importance of accounting for imperfect detectability. Our findings foster a more robust understanding of the mechanisms underlying population-level responses to management practices, ultimately increasing our ability to manage terrestrial salamanders effectively.

Keywords: amphibian, forest management, hierarchical model, Missouri, N-mixture model, oak regeneration, Ozarks, partial harvest, Plethodon serratus, shelterwood.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.

XML: View XML

Citation:


O'Donnell, Katherine M.; Thompson, Frank R., III; Semlitsch, Raymond D. 2015. Prescribed fire and timber harvest effects on terrestrial salamander abundance, detectability, and microhabitat use. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 79(5): 766-775.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.