Skip to Main Content
Relictual amphibians and old-growth forestAuthor(s): H.H. Welsh
Source: Conservation Biology. 4: 309-319
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (244.0 KB)
DescriptionTerrestrial and aquatic herpetofauna were sampled by pitfall traps, time-constrained searches, and areaconstrained searches (stream sites only) over a three-year period to examine the importance of forest age to amphibians and reptiles. Fifty-four terrestrial and 39 aquatic sites in Douglas-fir-dominated, mixed evergreen forests were located in southwestern Oregon and northwestern California Mean age of trees on sites ranged in age from 30 to 560 years. Thirty-one species of amphibians and reptiles were detected from the 93 localities. Only three species were found primarily on older forest sites: the Del Norte salamander (Plethodon elongatus), the Olympic salamander (Rhyacotriton olympicus), and the tailed frog (Ascaphus truei). Paleoecologic evidence indicates an historical association between these three amphibians and the extant elements of ancient primeval coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. The life histories and habitat requirements of these species suggest that these forms are scarce in younger forests because the microclimatic and microhabitat conditions they require generally exist only in older forests. The long-term viability of these species in northern California and southern Oregon may depend upon developing forestry practices that protect these critical microclimates and microhabitats.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
CitationWelsh, H.H., Jr. 1990. Relictual amphibians and old-growth forest. Conservation Biology. 4: 309-319
- Amphibians as metrics of critical biological thresholds in forested headwater streams of the Pacific Northwest, U.S.A
- Stream amphibians as metrics of ecosystem stress: a case study from California’s redwoods revisited
- Does fire affect amphibians and reptiles in eastern U.S. oak forests?
XML: View XML