Date Available

4-25-2024

Year of Publication

2023

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forest and Natural Resource Sciences (MSFNRS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department/School/Program

Forestry and Natural Resources

First Advisor

Dr. Steven Price

Abstract

Surface mine reclamation has been an evolving practice since the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act was passed in 1977, holding mining companies accountable for returning ecological function to areas directly impacted by mining activities. One recent method of reclamation, the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA), aims to enhance reforestation and ecosystem function through the creation of wetlands, as opposed to traditional methods that often revert land to grasslands. However, wildlife response to FRA has rarely been investigated. The goal of this project was to analyze the effects of the four treatment types, FRA in two chronosequences, natural regeneration, and unmined mature forest, on amphibian occupancy, species richness and abundance. The results of this project show that FRA wetlands are able to support most pond-breeding amphibian species in the region. I found that species had similar occupancy and species richness estimates values across the four treatments. Abundance estimates were lower in young FRA sites for forest-associated species, such as L. sylvaticus and A. maculatum, but higher abundance estimates in older FRA sites suggest that these species will be able to successfully utilize these wetlands in the near future.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2023.426

Funding Information

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Applied Science Grant Program (Grant#: S21AC10048) in 2021

McIntire Stennis Capacity Grant Program (#KY009040) in 2021

Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Kentucky in 2021

Available for download on Thursday, April 25, 2024

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