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Wildlife and Upland Oak ForestsAuthor(s): James G. Dickson
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 106-115
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionThe oak forests of the eastern U.S. have always been diverse as well as dynamic; continually molded andinfluenced by a variety of natural and anthropogenic forces. These forests support thousands of species of plants, untold numbers of insects and other invertebrates, and hundreds of species of vertebrate wildlife. Because of the large number of species, I focus on species and communities of special interest or concern. Acorns are a primary fall and winter diet item of many vertebrate species. Acorns build energy reserves, which are very important for winter survival and succesful reproduction for a number of species. The wild turkey, whitetailed deer, and American black bear, which suffered and were very limited a century ago, have been restored and now flourish. There are a wide variety of bird species associated with upland oak forests; most associated with specific habitat attributes. Generally, there is concern for two categories of birds: neartic-neotropical migratory birds, and early successional, grass forb associated birds. Bats are important ecological components of oak forests; several species of cave bats are endangered and there is concern for others. Even though upland oak ecosystems are mostly xeric, the forests support a high diversity of reptile and amphibian species, and provide important habitat for many species.
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CitationDickson, James G. 2004. Wildlife and Upland Oak Forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 106-115
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