Herpetofaunal response to oak-regenerating silvicultural practices in the mid-Cumberland plateau of southern TennesseeThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Silviculture treatments can alter landscapes, which in return can affect wildlife communities. This research examined how microhabitat differed short-term (1-2 years after disturbance) between two different oak-regenerating shelterwood treatments, a midstory-reduction (oak-shelterwood) and a first-harvested basal area removal (shelterwood), in comparison to undisturbed controls. Mechanisms responsible for influencing herpetofaunal communities were examined in the oak-hickory hardwood forests of the mid-Cumberland Plateau in Grundy County of Southern TN. Herpetofauna were captured using drift fences equipped with pitfall and box funnel traps, and microhabitat variables were collected at each trap location. Shelterwood stands had a higher amount of slash, slash pile volume, and woody and herbaceous vegetation than other stand types.Oak-shelterwood and control stands had higher litter depth, litter cover, and presence of overstory than shelterwood stands. Eastern fence lizards, eastern five-lined skinks, Fowler’s toads and broad-headed skinks were all significantly more abundant in stands that received manipulation in comparison to control stands.