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Blue Mountains National Resources Institute

Forestry and Range Sciences Laboratory
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BMNRI Home > Publications > Abstract: Effects of Wildfire on Breeding Bird Communities in The Blue Mountains



Effects of wildfire on breeding bird communities in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon: an update on two years of data from the Pine Ranger District Twin Lakes Fire. (Report to the BMNRI, 1996.)

by R. Sallabanks (Sustainable Ecosystems Institute)

This administrative study was originally designed to examine the effects of salvage harvest in an area that experienced a major wildfire during the summer of 1994 (Twin Lakes Fire; Pine Ranger District). The salvage harvest planned for summer 1995 did not occur however. Instead, a more limited harvest occurred in summer of 1996. This report describes data collected in spring 1995 and 1996, prior to the limited salvage harvest. Post-salvage data will be reported fall 1997.

Data from the 1996 season indicate that bird diversity and relative abundance increased from the 1995 season. In 1995, the Twin Lakes Fire had been found to have a slight negative effect on the overall bird community by reducing avian abundance and bird species richness with increasing degree of burn. This was no longer the case 2 years post-fire (1996). Now, neither avian abundance nor bird species richness varied significantly with degree of burn. The reason for the change between years is that more birds were using the more intensely burned forest 2 years v. 1 year post-fire. This increase of birds in heavily burned forest patches appears to be due primarily to a disproportionate increase in cavity-nesting species, especially the woodpeckers and bluebirds.

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station, Blue Mountains National Resources Institute
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:42 CST

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