Date of Graduation
Master of Science in Biology (MS)
Steven J. Beaupre
John D. Willson
Second Committee Member
Fire Ecology, Management, Ozarks, Peromyscus, Quercus, Restoration
I investigated the lasting impacts of a management plan designed to improve oak regeneration and benefit wildlife in the Ozark Highlands in Madison, Co., AR. To assess the efficacy of the management plan, I used variables relevant to the success and establishment of oak trees. Controlled burns and selective logging were used to thin the canopy, increase ground level productivity, and increase the abundance of small mammals. I used measurements of overstory and understory densities, light availability, and the density of mice in the genus Peromyscus across time to look at the lasting impacts of management. Different treatment plots were used to investigate the impact of each management action separately (Burn or Cut) and in combination (Burn and Cut) relative to unaltered control plots. Measurements were compared between pre-treatment, post-treatment, and 10-years post-treatment time points. I found that a 10-year lapse in management resulted in a complete return to pre-treatment values in overstory density. I also saw a decline below pre-treatment values in understory density and Peromyscus density. Analysis of light availability at the forest floor revealed a persistent effect of treatment. I conclude that while initial treatment was effective, 10 years between management events is too infrequent to achieve the desired long-term changes within my study system. More frequent management may be more effective in meeting the management goals for this Ozark system.
Carnes-Mason, M. (2019). Observable Persistent Effects of Habitat Management Efforts in the Ozark Highlands After 10 Years. Theses and Dissertations Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/3448