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    Author(s): Ronald E. Masters; Christopher W. Wilson; Douglas S. Cram; George A. Bukenhofer; Robert L. Lochmiller
    Date: 2002
    Source: In: Ford, W. Mark; Russell, Kevin R.; Moorman, Christopher E., eds. Proceedings: the role of fire for nongame wildlife management and community restoration: traditional uses and new directions. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-288. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station: 73-90.
    Publication Series: Other
    Station: Northeastern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (139.85 KB)

    Description

    Shortleaf pine-bluestem (Pinus echinata Mill.- Andropogon spp.) restoration for red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) has been underway for more than 2 decades on the Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas. Restoration efforts consist of modifying stand structure to basal areas similar to presettlement times and reintroduction of fire. This is accomplished through midstory and codominant tree removal (wildlife stand improvement -WSI) and dormant season prescribed fires on a 3-year cycle. Concern has been expressed about the influence of this type of management on non-target species, specifically small mammals and breeding birds. Control stands (no thinning or fire) were characterized by closed canopies and dense midstory with little understory vegetation. WSI-treated stands were characterized by open canopies, little midstory and an increase in herbage production by 3-7 fold depending on whether or not stands had been burned and time since the stands had been burned. Woody cover after WSI followed a predictable increase with additional growing seasons since prescribed fire. Total community abundance, species richness, and diversity of small mammal and breeding bird communities were dramatically increased by restoration. No small mammal species were adversely affected by restoration treatments. Pine-grassland obligate songbirds increased following WSI and many of these showed significant increases directly attributable to fire. Bird and small mammal habitat associations are also described.

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    Citation

    Masters, Ronald E.; Wilson, Christopher W.; Cram, Douglas S.; Bukenhofer, George A.; Lochmiller, Robert L. 2002. Influence of ecosystem restoration for red-cockaded woodpeckers on breeding bird and small mammal communities. In: Ford, W. Mark; Russell, Kevin R.; Moorman, Christopher E., eds. Proceedings: the role of fire for nongame wildlife management and community restoration: traditional uses and new directions. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-288. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station: 73-90.

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