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Plethodontid salamander response to Silvilcultural Practices in Missouri Ozark forestsAuthor(s): Laura A. Herbeck; David R. Larsen
Source: Conservation Biology. 13(3): 623-632. (1999)
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: North Central Research Station
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DescriptionThere is little information on the effects of tree harvest on salamander populations in the midwestern United States. We present data on plethodontid salamander densities in replicated stands of three forest age classes in the southeastern Ozarks of Missouri. Forest age classes consisted of regeneration-cut sites <5 year old, second-growth sites 70-80 years old, and old-growth sites >120 years old. Salamander abundance on 21, 144-m2 plots was determined by area- and time-constrained searches. We also compared age-class habitat characteristics, including downed woody debris, canopy cover, ground area cover, herbaceous vegetation, and woody vegetation. Salamander density was lowest in newly regenerated forests and highest in forests >120 years old. Comparisons of recently regenerated forests with mature forests >70 years old indicated that terrestrial salamanders were reduced to very low numbers when mature forests had been intensively harvested. This reduction may result from a decrease in microhabitat availability. Forest age-class comparisons further indicated that salamander abundance slowly increased over time after forests had regenerated. Management decisions that take into account plethodontid salamander abundance and their response to forest structural diversity are important components in sustaining ecosystem integrity while maximizing economic yield.
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CitationHerbeck, Laura A.; Larsen, David R. 1999. Plethodontid salamander response to Silvilcultural Practices in Missouri Ozark forests. Conservation Biology. 13(3): 623-632. (1999)
Keywordssalamander, tree harvest, Ozarks, Missouri, silviculture
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