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Herpetofaunal community response to timber harvest practices in an east Texas bottomland hardwood forest
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Objectives of this study were to assess the effects of different timber harvest practices on an east Texas bottomland hardwood herpetofaunal community 2-5 years post harvest. Emphasis was placed on analyzing the response, in terms of relative abundance, of the most common species of herpetofauna and specifically the marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum). Herpetofaunal response in terms of measures of species richness, diversity, and evenness were analyzed among treatments. This study was a continuation of research sponsored by and conducted on property owned by Temple-Inland Forest Products Corporation in Tyler County, Texas. A block design of three replicated 24-ha blocks was used, each block containing three 8-ha plots consisting of control, selectcut, and clearcut treatments. Herpetofauna was censused using 168 15-m drift fence arrays with a total of 672 traps. Data were collected for a total of 198 days from 24 February 1995 through 8 June 1997. A total of 15,746 captures were made comprised of 43 species of amphibians and reptiles. Data were analyzed using either a 2-way ANOVA and Tukey's HSD test or Friedman's nonparametric ANOVA. Significant differences in abundance among treatments were found in 9 of the 21 most common species. Ambystoma opacum showed a significant difference in abundance among treatments and a continued reduction in numbers in clearcuts 2-5 years post harvest. However, the presence of A. opacum in the middle of clearcut plots provides evidence of this species' persistence in these areas. Three species of reptiles showed significantly greater abundance in the clearcut treatment and one species of lizard displayed significantly greater abundance in the significant differences in temporal abundance among treatments. Sixteen species of amphibians and reptiles exhibited significant differences in temporal abundance among treatments on a monthly basis. Clearcuts had significantly greater species richness and diversity index values than the other treatments. Species evenness index values were not significant among treatments. Significantly greater abundance of A. opacum in streamside management zones corroborates the importance of the development and retention of this management practice.
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Includes bibliographical references: p.80-90.
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Irwin, Kelly James (1997). Herpetofaunal community response to timber harvest practices in an east Texas bottomland hardwood forest. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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