Effects of prescribed burning on small mammal, reptile, and tick populations on the Talladega National Forest, AlabamaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
A study of the relationship between prescribed burning and tick populations was conducted in the Talladega National Forest, AL. The study area for mammal and tick sampling consisted of 12 plots ranging from the unburned control site to sites burned within the previous 5 years. The study area for reptile sampling consisted of four plots ranging from the unburned control site to sites burned within the previous 5 years. Small mammal trapping yielded a total of 66 individuals and 5 species captured over 2,160 trap nights. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) results showed significant difference between Peromyscus leucopus populations across burn treatments. A total of 107 reptiles were captured, representing 12 species. Both species richness and Shannon index of diversity were significantly lower in plot 1 (1 month postburn). Both values increased in plot 2 (1 year postburn). A total of 321 individual ticks were collected. Over 90 percent were lone star ticks (Ambylomma americanum), with the remaining ticks being American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis). ANOVA results showed statistically significant changes in tick populations between sites with different burn treatments.