Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): N.E. Karraker; H.H. Welsh Jr
    Date: 2006
    Source: Biological Conservation, Vol. 131: 132-140
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (210 KB)


    Conservation needs for amphibians in managed timberlands may differ based upon the species present and the timber harvesting methods employed. Clearcuts have been documented to be detrimental to amphibians but the impacts of associated silvicultural edges and alternative harvesting treatments are not well understood. The primary objective of this study was to determine if amphibian abundances and body condition differed in thinned forests and intact forests, and in clearcuts and associated silvicultural edges. We also examined which environmental attributes were important in explaining observed differences. We sampled clearcuts, silvicultural edges, and adjacent late-seral forests at 10 sites in northwestern California from October 1999 to July 2002. Clearcuts at these sites ranged in age from 6 to 25 years. Five of these forest stands were intact and five had been commercially thinned at least 10 years prior to our study. Amphibian abundances were similar in thinned and unthinned forests, but body condition of the most common species was lower in thinned forests. Abundances of amphibians were nearly twice as high in forests and at silvicultural edges than in clearcuts. Clearcutting at these sites appears to have affected amphibian numbers up to 25 years post-harvest, however, silvicultural edges were suitable habitats for amphibians. While commercial thinning did not reduce amphibian numbers, it is an intermediate treatment followed by clearcutting. Where conservation of amphibians is a concern, even-aged silvicultural systems may not provide the most appropriate method for maintaining viable populations on managed forestlands in the northwestern US.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • 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.


    Karraker, N.E.; Welsh Jr, H.H. 2006. Long-term impacts of even-aged timber management on abundance and body condition of terrestrial amphibians in Northwestern California. Biological Conservation, Vol. 131: 132-140


    amphibians, Ensatina eschscholtzii, Plethodon elongatus, clearcutting, thinning, silvicultural edges, body condition index, movements

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page