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Influence of postfire salvage logging on black-backed woodpecker nest-site selection and nest survival


Forristal, Christopher David. 2009. Influence of postfire salvage logging on black-backed woodpecker nest-site selection and nest survival. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 93 p. Thesis.

Post-fire timber harvest practices (i.e. post-fire salvage logging) on public lands are a highly contentious issue in the western United States. Harvest of burned trees impacts a number of species, particularly those specialized for using post-wildfire habitats. We assessed the effects of post-fire salvage logging on black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) nest-site selection and nest survival within burned, mixed conifer forests of south-central Oregon. Multiple treatment and control plots were surveyed two years pre-logging (2003-04) and two years post-logging (2005-06). Our objectives were to (a) examine the effects of salvage logging on black-backed woodpecker nest site selection and nest survival at coarse and fine spatial scales (b) elucidate additional habitat and abiotic factors predicting black-back nest occurrence and survival, and (c) determine if those habitat covariates influencing nest site selection coincide with those influencing nest survival. A total of 210 black-backed woodpecker nests were monitored during the four year postfire period. Postfire salvage logging did not significantly reduce snag numbers or diameters within treatment units. Based upon our best nest-site selection model, black-backed woodpecker nest locations were different from non-nest points in habitat characteristics at both fine and coarse spatial scales, with variables related to surrounding snag density being the strongest predictors.

Keywords: post-fire timber harvest practices, black-backed woodpecker, Picoides arcticus


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http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2009_forristal_c001.pdf

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Influence of postfire salvage logging on black-backed woodpecker nest-site selection and nest survival
Electronic Publish Date: May 11, 2009
Last Update:
May 11, 2009

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