Chapter 11: Reptile and amphibian response to Hardwood Forest Manatement and early successional habitats
Herpetofauna responses to forest management and early successional habitats are influenced by species-specific adaptations to historical disturbance regimes. It can take decades for woodland salamander diversity to recover after heavy overstory removal for even-aged forest regeneration or hot fires that yield higher light, drier microclimates, and reduced leaf litter cover, but some frog and toad species may tolerate or even increase after disturbances. In particular, disturbances that retain some canopy cover, such as selection harvests or low intensity burns, can mitigate effects on terrestrial salamanders. The same early successional conditions that are detrimental to salamanders can benefit many reptile species, such as fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus). Maintaining stand age diversity across central hardwood forest landscapes, including retention of mature forest communities, should provide habitats for both early successional wildlife and mature forest species.