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Effects of timber harvesting on birds in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming, USA

Dykstra, Brian L.; Rumble, Mark A.; Flake, Lester D. 1997. Effects of timber harvesting on birds in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming, USA. In: Cook, James E.; Oswald, Brian P., comps. First biennial North American forest ecology workshop: June 24-26, 1997, North Carolina St. Univ., Raleigh, NC. [Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University]: 16-26.

Timber harvest alters structural characteristics in ponderosa pine forests. In the Black Hills, harvested stands with 40-70% overstory canopy cover are managed as sapling/pole (3.0 - 22.9 cm dbh) or mature (> 22.9 cm dbh) stands. Changing the forest structure to two size classes has unknown effects on bird communities in this region. We counted birds in 20 harvested and 20 unharvested ponderosa pine stands during May and June of 1993 and 1994. Harvested stands represented the desired long-term conditions of stands managed for timber production. Forty-seven bird species were recorded; 29 species occurred in 35 stands and were included in statistical analyses. Abundances of nine species differed between harvested and unharvested stands. Red-breasted nuthatches (Sitta canadensis) (P = 0.03), ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus) (P < 0.01 ), and black-headed grosbeaks (Pheucticus meianocephalus) (P = 0. I0), were more abundant in unharvested stands. Hairy woodpeckers (Picoides villosus) (P = 0.03), western wood-pewees (Contopus sordidulus) (P = 0.02), Townsend's solitaires (Myadestes townsendi) (P = 0.04), American robins (Turdus migratorius) (P < 0.01), chipping sparrows (Spizella passerina) (P < 0.0l), and darkeyed juncos (Junco hyemalis) (P < 0.01) were more abundant in harvested stands. Species richness (P = 0.20) did not differ between treatments. Further stratification of stands into sapling/pole, harvested mature, unharvested mature, and old growth seral stages, brought forth more subtle differences in bird use of pine stands, most notably use of stands with larger trees by northern flickers (Colaptes auratus), use of sapling/pole harvested stands by black-backed woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus), and use of old growth stands by brown creepers (Certhia americana). Harvested stands had different breeding bird communities than those that were unharvested.

Keywords: birds, Pinus ponderosa, ponderosa pine, timber harvest, Black Hills, South Dakota, Wyoming

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Effects of timber harvesting on birds in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming, USA
Electronic Publish Date: April 25, 2006
Last Update:
April 25, 2006

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