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    Description

    Silviculture in the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas and Oklahoma has shifted in recent years from mostly even-aged management to a mix of even- and uneven-aged regeneration systems, including group-selection. Researchers have described presence/absence of early-successional bird species in forest openings created by even- and uneven-aged silviculture, but few have examined nest success. We examined occupancy and nest success of three early-successional species-Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens), and Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor)--within 6- and 7-year-old openings created by group-selection (uneven-aged, 50.8 ha) and seed-tree (even-aged, 11-16 ha) cuts in Arkansas. We found 54 Indigo Bunting nests in openings created by seed-tree cuts and 28 in openings created by group-selection cuts (hereafter "seed-tree stands" and "group-selection stands," respectively). We found 50 Yellow-breasted Chat nests in seed-tree stands, but only 2 were found in group-selection stands. We found 14 Prairie Warbler nests in seed-tree and none in group-selection stands. Mayfield nest success for Indigo Bunting was 30.9% in seedtree stands and 41.9% in group-selection openings, but there was no difference in daily nest survival (0.952 * 0.009 and 0.964 +-0.010, respectively; x2 = 0.792, P = 0.37). Our data suggest that Indigo Buntings can nest successfully in both regenerating seed-tree and group-selection stands; however, group-selection openings may be too small to support nesting Yellow-breasted Chats and Prairie Warblers. Public concerns about clear-cutting have resulted in increased use of uneven-aged management by the USDA Forest Service. However, before widespread implementation of group-selection cutting, additional research should be conducted to evaluate the effects of this management strategy on Neotropical migratory bird communities.

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    Citation

    Alterman, Lynn E.; Bednarz, James C.; Thill, Ronald E. 2005. Use of group-selection and seed-tree cuts by three early-successional migratory species in Arkansas. Wilson Bulletin, Vol. 117(4): 353-363

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