of Long Term Research Conducted by the Northeastern Research Station
Undergrowth and Small
Mammal Response to Overstory Stocking Levels (Undergrowth
Project - Vegetation)
||1) To describe undergrowth response to overstory thinning
and deer browsing.
2) To describe small mammal habitat relationships.
||expected to continue thru 1996
||All plots are located in Franklin and Hampshire Counties MA
where a Forest Service research permit is renewed annually on
Quabbin Reservation. Land is part of Boston's municipal water
supply managed by Metropolitan District Commission. Of the 20
stands, 12 stands are located on Prescott Peninsula inside a
wildlife sanctuary and 8 stands are located in hunted area of
Quabbin Reservation in New Salem, Shutesbury, Pelham and Belchertown
compartments. Deer are 3 to 4 times more abundant in the sanctuary
than outside of it. Land use history, forest management, and
soils are similar inside and outside the sanctuary.
Elevation range 150 to 300 meters.
Location of the stands ranges between 43deg 30min 00 sec by
72deg 19min 45sec (UR), 42deg 22min 30sec. by 72deg 24 min 30
sec(LL) OR 4783500mN by 713500mN(UR), 4694700mN by 719800mE(LL).
||20 white pine-northern red oak-red maple stands are grouped
by 4 blocks of 5 stands. Each stand contains 60 paired circular
4.0 meters squared-size plots (30 unfenced and 30 fenced). Plots
are located along transects at 20m intervals within each stand.
|Likelihood of Locating Study Areas:
||Undergrowth is sampled on 30 circular 4 meter squared plots
(radius 1.13 m) within each stand during July-August 1984, 1986,
1988 and 1994. Plots were established from a random start and
placed systematically along transects at 20 m intervals. Overstory
density, d.b.h., basal area, and composition are estimated with
30 point-center plots/stand once during the study. Deer densities
are estimated annually with line-transect techniques on the
protected area, and indexed with pellet-group counts on the
hunted area. Small mammals will be live-trapped in all stands
during April through October each year.
|Variables and Sampling Frequency:
||Undergrowth plant structure: undergrowth=all herbaceous plants,
shrubs, vines and Lycopodium, and total cover of trees and shrubs
<2.5cm at d.b.h.
Species counts, litter depth, tallest herb, no. of herbaceous
species and % cover, species and number of woody stems (>2.5cm
d.b.h.) per size class, stand density and stand height, fruit
production: 1984, 1988, 1991.
Oak regeneration (numbers of oak seedlings by height class):
annually 1984-1988, 1991.
Overstory: tree species, d.b.h., canopy height, bole and sawlog
lengths: 1987, 1989, 1995-96.
Wildlife dens and cavities tally: 1986, 1987.
Plant species and numbers of fruits: each summer 1985, 1986,
Habitat vegetation data collected at 10 mammal trapping stations
in each stand: 1987, 1988.
||Practices Ranges of each variable are visually checked line-by-line
on hardcopies of every data set entered as a computer file.
Temporary employees are always trained in the field by professionals.
||Raw data are in ASCII (sys.dat) files in dBASE III. All cleaned
raw data are on floppies and some on hard drive as permanent
data files (pdf). Hardcopies of all raw data are kept in file
cabinets. Analyses are generated in dBASE and sometimes SAS.
|Global Change Research Applications:
||Studies of Ecosystem Processes
||each request is reviewed; partially, 1994
|Publications and Reports:
||Brooks, R.T.; Healy, W.M. 1988. Response of small mammal communities
to silvicultural treatments in eastern hardwood forests of WV.
and MA. In: Szaro, R.C., et al., technical Coordinators. Management
of amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals in North America.
Gen. Tech. Rpt. RM-166. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 313-318.
DeGraaf, R.M.; Healy, W.M.; Brooks, R.T. 1991. Effects of
thinning and edeer browsing on breeding birds in New England
oak woodlands. For. Ecol. management 41: 179-191.
Healy, W.M.; Brooks, R.T.; DeGraaf, R.M. 1989. Cavity trees
in sawtimber-size oak stands in central MA. N. J. Appl. For.
* Healy, W.M.; Brooks, R.T.; Lyons, P.J. 1987. Deer and forests
on Boston's municipal watershed after 50 years as a wildlife
sanctuary. In: Proceedings, Deer, forestry, and agriculture:
interactions and strategies for management; 1987; Warren PA:
Allegheny Soc. Am. For. 3-21.
Welsh, C.J.E.; Healy, W.M.; DeGraaf, R.M. 1992. Cavity-nesting
bird abundance in thinning verses unthinned Massachusetts
oak stands. N. J. Appl. For. 9(1): 6-9.
||William Healy, USDA Forest Service, Holdsworth Hall, University
of Massachusetts, P.O. Box 34230, Amherst
MA 01003. (413) 545-0357