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Title: A comparison of bird species composition and abundance between late- and mid-seral ponderosa pine forests

Author: George, T. Luke; Zack, Steve; Laudenslayer, William F. Jr.;

Date: 2005

Source: In: Ritchie, Martin W.; Maguire, Douglas A.; Youngblood, Andrew, tech. coordinators. Proceedings of the Symposium on Ponderosa Pine: Issues, Trends, and Management, 2004 October 18-21, Klamath Falls, OR. Gen. Tech. Rep PSW-GTR-198. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 159-169

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: We compared the relative abundance of bird species between two ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests in northeastern California: one with a canopy of large old-growth trees present (Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest, BMEF) and the other with large trees essentially absent (Goosenest Adaptive Management Area, GAMA). We surveyed 24 units at BMEF and 20 at GAMA using point counts and compared the relative abundance of bird species detected at the two locations using Wilcoxon-rank tests. Overall bird species composition was similar at the two locations. Of the 51 species detected at both locations, 29 were detected at both GAMA and BMEF, 14 were only detected at BMEF and 8 were only detected at GAMA. Most of the species that were detected at only one site were rare at the site where they were observed. Plot diversity (the number of bird species detected on a plot) did not differ between the two locations. Bird species were lumped into four foraging guilds, woodpeckers, bark gleaners, foliage gleaners, and flycatchers, to examine if foraging ecology predicted differences in abundance between the two sites. Woodpeckers, bark gleaners, and flycatchers were more abundant at BMEF while foliage gleaners were more abundant at GAMA. Differences in the abundances of individual species were generally consistent with the overall guild differences. For instance, Williamson’s Sapsuckers (Sphyrapicus thyroideus), Hairy and White-headed Woodpeckers (Picoides villosus and P. albolarvatus), and Northern Flickers (Colaptes auratus) were all significantly more abundant at BMEF than GAMA. The only species whose abundance was not consistent with the difference in guild abundance was the Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), a bark gleaner, which was more abundant at GAMA. These results are consistent with other studies suggesting that woodpeckers and bark gleaners are strongly associated with large trees and snags. The dense canopy of small to medium sized trees at GAMA relative to BMEF may account for the higher density of foliage gleaners at GAMA.

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George, T. Luke; Zack, Steve; Laudenslayer, William F. Jr. 2005. A comparison of bird species composition and abundance between late- and mid-seral ponderosa pine forests. In: Ritchie, Martin W.; Maguire, Douglas A.; Youngblood, Andrew, tech. coordinators. Proceedings of the Symposium on Ponderosa Pine: Issues, Trends, and Management, 2004 October 18-21, Klamath Falls, OR. Gen. Tech. Rep PSW-GTR-198. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 159-169

 


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