The Flint Hills region of Kansas is the largest contiguous area of tallgrass prairie remaining today. Historically, the tallgrass prairie burned every 2–3 yr on average, but current land managers have altered burn regimes, resulting in a range of habitats from annually burned to long-term unburned. We used drift fence/funnel trap arrays and coverboards to estimate species richness, evenness, and diversity of herpetofauna within three different burn regimes: annual, 4-yr, and long-term unburned at Konza Prairie Biological Station, Riley County, Kansas. During the spring and fall of 2003–2004, 315 individuals from 20 species were captured across all burn regimes. Herpetofaunal species richness, evenness, and diversity estimates were not different between the three burn treatments. However, because of species-specific responses to individual burn regimes, community composition was significantly different between the habitats (χ2 = 158.19, df = 20, P < 0.001). Four species exhibited preferences among burn regimes, which differed significantly from independent assortment, with Eumeces obsoletus and Phrynosoma cornutum preferring annual burn treatments, Scincella lateralis preferring 4-yr burn treatments, and Diadophis punctatus preferring long-term unburned treatments. Species-specific responses were likely because of changes in vegetation structure and microhabitat (temperature and moisture content) created through different frequencies of fire disturbances. Maximizing large-scale herpetofaunal diversity across the Flint Hills' rangelands could be accomplished by creating a large number of small scale habitat types through a mosaic style burning plan.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.