Floodplain forests are among the most threatened habitats in North America. We used the richness, abundance and diversity of amphibians and reptiles to assess the effects of habitat modifications at the Old Sabine Bottom Wildlife Management Area (OSBWMA) in Smith County, Texas, USA. Amphibians and reptiles were surveyed using artificial cover objects and minnow traps at nine ephemeral pools: three in undisturbed bottomland forest, three in deer food plots and three near active oil pumps. A total of 627 amphibians and reptiles representing 31 species was captured. Undisturbed forest plots sustained a higher amphibian richness compared to food and oil pump plots. Amphibian abundance differed significantly among habitats with food plots having the highest and oil pump plots the lowest. Reptile abundance was not significantly different among habitat types neither was reptile richness following rarefaction correction. Overall, each habitat type had similar Simpson's diversity indices, ranging from 0.852–0.894 for total amphibians and reptiles. The community compositions in the three habitat types were significantly different. In general, the food plots had little impact on the amphibians and reptiles in this floodplain however oil pump plots appeared to be avoided. Overall, species presence varied according to the type of habitat modification which should be considered before implementing management plans.
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Vol. 163 • No. 1