An experimental assessment of buffer width: implications for salamander migratory behavior

  • Published source details Veysey J.S., Babbitt K.J. & Cooper A. (2009) An experimental assessment of buffer width: implications for salamander migratory behavior. Biological Conservation, 142, 2227-2239.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Retain riparian buffer strips during timber harvest

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Retain riparian buffer strips during timber harvest

    A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 2003–2005 of 11 forest ponds in east-central Maine, USA (Veysey, Babbitt & Cooper 2009) found that the impact of buffer zones on spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum migration behaviour depended on weather conditions. Migration rate and distance of salamanders from ponds did not differ significantly between treatments. However, the probability of migration differed significantly between the 100 m buffer and unharvested, but not 30 m buffer treatments. If rainfall was low, salamanders were more likely to move in the 100 m compared to unharvested treatment, above 390 mm of cumulative rainfall the opposite was true. Ponds were randomly assigned to treatments: clearcut with 30 m or 100 m buffers or unharvested. Concentric 100 m wide clearcuts were created around buffers surrounding ponds in 2003–2004. Salamanders were captured in pitfall traps along drift-fences as they left breeding ponds in spring. Forty salamanders were radio-tracked (6–21/treatment) in April–November 2004–2005.


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