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    We examined the effects of a second-thinning harvest with alternative riparian buffer management approaches on headwater stream habitats and associated vertebrates in western Oregon, USA. Our analyses showed that stream reaches were generally distinguished primarily by average width and depth, along with the percentage of the dry reach length, and secondarily, by the volume of down wood. In the first year post-harvest, we observed no effects of buffer treatment on stream habitat attributes after moderate levels of thinning. One of two “thin-through” riparian treatments showed stronger trends for enlarged stream channels, likely due to harvest disturbances. The effects of buffer treatments on salamanders varied among species and with habitat structure. Densities of Plethodon dunni and Rhyacotriton species increased post-harvest in the moderate-density thinning with no-entry buffers in wider streams with more pools and narrower streams with more down wood, respectively. However, Rhyacotriton densities decreased along streams with the narrowest buffer, 6 m, and P. dunni and Dicamptodon tenebrosus densities decreased in thin-through buffers. Our study supports the use of a 15-m or wider buffer to retain sensitive headwater stream amphibians.

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    Olson, Deanna H.; Burton, Julia I. 2014. Near-term effects of repeated-thinning with riparian buffers on headwater stream vertebrates and habitats in Oregon, USA. Forests. 5: 2703-2729


    amphibians, salamanders, timber harvest, Pacific Northwest, Dicamptodon, Rhyacotriton, Plethodon

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