• Herpetofaunal responses to brush management with herbicide and fire

      Jones, B.; Fox, S. F.; Leslie, D. M.; Engle, D. M.; Lochmiller, R. L. (Society for Range Management, 2000-03-01)
      We examined how native herpetofauna of the Cross Timbers in Oklahoma, USA, were influenced by vegetation types derived from combinations of herbicide applications and prescribed burning. Brush management treatments consisted of tebuthiuron (N-[5-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1,3,4-thiazol-2-y-1] -N,N'-dimethylurea)-only, tebuthiuron + fire, and untreated pastures of mature hardwood forest (no herbicide or fire). A total of 292 individuals representing 30 species was captured in 1994 and 1995 using time-constrained searching and drift-fence arrays on 3 replicates of the 3 treatments. Relative total abundance and species richness of herpetofauna were similar on all 3 treatment types. However, differences were apparent by taxonomic group. In general, amphibians were most abundant in untreated and tebuthiuron-only pastures, lizards were most abundant on the untreated pastures, and snakes were most abundant on pastures treated with tebuthiuron + fire. Maintenance of a mosaic of habitats in the Cross Timbers may enhance diversity of the native herpetofauna.