Effects of fire management practices on the amphibians and reptiles of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Fouts, Kevin Lindsey
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Information regarding the effects of fire management practices on reptiles and amphibians is important for sound management decisions. We examined those effects by conducting surveys of stream plethodontids and upland reptiles, as well as examining the influence of fire on microclimate and modeled reptile activity periods in the Southern Appalachians. The results suggest fire application is associated with decreased abundance of large desmognathine salamanders, resulting in an ecological release of Euycea spp. Abundance of forest floor lizards was positively correlated with fire application. Fire effects on microclimate and models of lizard thermal activity windows suggest a relationship between fire and increased daily activity periods for lizards, though we caution some parameters in that model were not directly measured in this study.