Disparate patterns of taxonomic and functional predator diversity under different forest management regimes

Connor S. Adams, Daniel Saenz, Kathryn R. Kidd, Christopher M. Schalk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study explores how human activities can impact natural disturbance patterns in ecosystems and, consequently, affect biodiversity. It emphasizes the importance of well-defined restoration goals in degraded ecosystems to maintain essential ecological processes and ecosystem services. The research focuses on pine forest ecosystems in eastern Texas and examines the effects of forest management practices, with a particular focus on snake populations as indicators of ecosystem health.

The study compares two types of forest management regimes: high-frequency practices involving short burn intervals and thinning, and low-frequency practices involving long burn intervals and no thinning. It finds that the high-frequency treatment resulted in greater taxonomic diversity among snake species compared to the low-frequency treatment, while functional diversity was similar in both. The study also observed an increase in functional redundancy with higher forest management practice frequency, even when taxonomic diversity and community traits differed between the two treatments.

In summary, the research suggests that more frequent prescribed fires and thinning operations in pine forest ecosystems may enhance stability and resilience. It highlights the importance of ecological restoration as a tool in ecosystems prone to disturbances and underscores the need for a multidimensional approach to achieve restoration goals and ensure the overall health of forest ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108591
JournalEcological Indicators
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus Subject Areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


  • Forest management
  • Functional traits
  • Practice frequency
  • Redundancy
  • Resilience

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