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Birds of Upland Oak Forests in the Arkansas Ozarks: Present Community Structure and Potential Impacts of Burning, Borers, and Forestry PracticesAuthor(s): Kimberly Smith; Michael Mlodinow; Janet S. Self; Thomas M. Haggerty; Tamara R. Hocut
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 243-252
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionBased on published works, our own research, and the U.S. Forest Service’s R8 Bird database, we characterize breeding bird communities in mesic and xeric upland hardwood forests of the Arkansas Ozarks. Although 59 species have been recorded as breeding, typical breeding assemblages in mesic forests are 20-25 species, with only 5 species commonly found in xeric forests. Due to changes in forest composition, the breeding assemblages of today were probably rare or absent from the Ozarks 150 years ago. Any forestry practice that opens the closed canopy increases the number of species in upland hardwood forests. Development of a shrub-layer allows a difference suite of birds to occupy the forest, which typically would be unsuitable habitat for them. Relatively few birds occur in upland forest in fall migration and especially winter, but many migrants use this habitat in spring. The recent decline in oaks due to the borer infestation may dramatically change the avifauna of this upland habitat. Prescribed burning in deciduous forests may also have positive and negative effects, which need further investigation. Cowbirds do not occur in upland forests, and their spread should be limited by the lack of feeding sites.
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CitationSmith, Kimberly; Mlodinow, Michael; Self, Janet S.; Haggerty, Thomas M.; Hocut, Tamara R. 2004. Birds of Upland Oak Forests in the Arkansas Ozarks: Present Community Structure and Potential Impacts of Burning, Borers, and Forestry Practices. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 243-252
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