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Regional and National Issues for Forest Wildlife Research and Management

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Biologists and managers face a broad range of issues related to research and management of forest wildlife. To assess current trends in research, I reviewed 12 scientific journals (1992–2001) that published articles on wildlife, general ecology, and forestry and summarized articles by location, topic, issue, and species. To assess management concerns and issues, I interviewed professional biologists from across the United States, asking their opinions on important forest wildlife topics, approaches to improve research design, how management differs on public versus private lands, and which species they thought were underrepresented, overrepresented, or of special concern in their region. Most scientific articles focused on habitat selection, effects of forest alteration, and demography of birds and mammals. Herpetofauna (i.e., amphibians and reptiles) and invertebrates, although the subjects of some studies, made up only 10% each of all research papers. Biologists were most concerned with the alteration of forest vegetative structure due to timber harvest and its effects on wildlife populations and communities, but also recognized other issues such as changes in natural disturbance patterns such as fire, effects of road building, and loss of early successional vegetative communities as well as fragmentation of older forests. Most biologists agreed that long-term, large-scale, experimental studies, which document the demographic response of forest wildlife to alterations in forest cover, are needed. FOR. SCI. 48(2):181–189.

Keywords: Issues; disturbance; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forest structure; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; fragmentation; natural resource management; natural resources; roads

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: U.S. Geological Survey, Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Holdsworth Natural Resources Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 01003, Phone: (413) 545-4889; Fax: (413) 545-4358 sdestef@forwild.umass.edu

Publication date: May 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
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