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Animal Biodiversity and Conservation


Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona

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Abstract/ Summary

Relative abundance of amphibians in forest canopy gaps of natural origin vs. timber harvest origin.— Small–scale canopy gaps created by logging may retain adequate habitat structure to maintain amphibian abundance. We used pitfalls with drift fences to measure relative abundance of amphibians in 44 harvested gaps, 19 natural treefall gaps, and 36 closed–canopy forest plots. Metamorphs had relatively lower capture rates in large harvest gaps for Ambystoma maculatum, Lithobates catesbeianus, L. clamitans, and L. sylvaticus but we did not detect statistically significant (p < 0.1) differences among gap types for Lithobates palustris metamorphs. L. clamitans juveniles and L. sylvaticus juveniles and adults had relatively lower capture rates in large harvest gaps. For juvenile–adult A. maculatum, we caught relatively fewer individuals in all gap types than in closed–canopy areas. Some groups with overall lower capture rates (immature Plethodon cinereus, juvenile L. palustris) had mixed differences among gap types, and Notophthalmus viridescens (efts) and adult P. cinereus showed no differences among gap types. One species, L. clamitans, was captured more often at gap edges than gap centers. These results suggest that harvest gaps, especially small gaps, provided habitat similar to natural gaps for some, but not all, amphibian species or life–stages.

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