The Coastal Plain contains the highest species density of amphibians and reptiles in the United States and Canada. Of the seventy-seven species of salamanders and frogs native to the Coastal Plain (forty-two and thirty-five, respectively), twenty-one (27%) are dependent upon longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests as habitat in their adult or juvenile stages. By the end of the twentieth century, longleaf pine savanna had been reduced to less than 2% of its original coverage and old-growth stands with virgin trees amounted to less than 10,000 acres. One of the main reasons for the extensive loss of longleaf pine forests is silviculture (pine tree farming). This chapter reviews scientific literature dealing with the effects of pine silviculture on amphibians in the longleaf pine forests of the Coastal Plain. It suggests that pine tree farms are false forests and that pine silviculture has played an important role in amphibian population declines documented in the Coastal Plain.
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