Southern Research Station and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Partner in Wildlife Research
Two graduate and three undergraduate students from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), worked with scientists at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest to study how reptiles and amphibians respond to prescribed fire and other forest management practices. One graduate student is studying how amphibians and reptiles (herpetofauna) respond to three oak regeneration methods in the southern Appalachians: two prescribed burns, midstory herbicide application, and shelterwood harvest followed by prescribed burns, compared to a control plot with no treatment. This research is part of a multidisciplinary Regional Oak Study that addresses how these silvicultural practices affect woody and herbaceous forest plants, as well as wildlife. The study is located on the Cold Mountain Game Lands, and is a research partnership with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission land managers who implemented the treatments. The other graduate student is studying how the season of prescribed burning affects herpetofauna and small mammals in upland hardwood forests at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest in the southern Appalachians. Early growing season burns were conducted in spring 2013, and dormant season burns were conducted in winter 2014 by fire staff from the Pisgah National Forest. This partnership between the Southern ResearchStation, and a HACU University is providing valuable field experience to graduate and undergraduate students and addressing important research questions that support science-based forest management.
Forest Service Partners