Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Responses of Targeted Herpetological Communities to Fire Management Practices in Pine-Oak Forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park


July 2012 - July 2014


Forest managers at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are working to reintroduce a fire regime that once characterized the southwest portion of the park. However, managers are uncertain about the effects of fire - especially detrimental effects - on populations of amphibians and reptiles. This project will investigate relationships between prescribed fire management and herptile community response in this area of the park. The investigation will rely on field sampling and predictive modeling approaches. The outcome of this study, along with a companion project on bird community associations with fire management, will help inform park managers about responses by forest fauna to the reintroduction of fire.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Fouts, K. L., C. T. Moore, K. D. Johnson, and J. C. Maerz. 2017. Lizard activity and abundance greater in burned habitat of a xeric montane forest. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 8:181-192.


  • Fouts, K. L., C. T. Moore, K. D. Johnson, J. C. Maerz, and V. C. Kinney. 2014. Effects of fire management practices on the amphibians and reptiles of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Science Colloquium, 20 March 2014, Gatlinburg, TN.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



  • Clinton MooreCo-Principal Investigator
  • John MaerzCo-Principal Investigator
  • Kristine JohnsonCo-Principal Investigator
  • Theodore SimonsCo-Principal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • USGS NRPP/POBS programs


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey