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The Effect of Gypsy Moth Defoliation on Cavity-Nesting Bird Communities

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Abstract:

Gypsy moths (Lymantria dispar) kill trees and create snags, a resource vital to cavitynesting birds. With this in mind, population trends of 11 cavity-nesting birds and their relationship to snags in an area that was defoliated by gypsy moths were investigated from 1984 to 1999. Vegetation and bird point-count data from before a major gypsy moth outbreak (1984–1986), during (1987–1988), and after (1989–1999) enabled us to ake inferences about this forest bird community. The combined abundance of the 11 cavity-nesting species examined increased during the years immediately after the outbreak (1989–1993) followed by a decline in the last 6 yr (1994–1999). The abundance of snags also increased from 1989 to 1993 followed by a decline from 1994 to 1999. Regression analysis confirmed that cavity-nesting bird populations were highly associated with snag abundance. These data suggest the importance of snags to cavity-nesting birds and that cavity-nesters were able to take immediate advantage of a new population of snags. FOR. SCI. 48(2):273–281.

Keywords: Snags; defoliation; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; pesticide; woodpeckers

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Fernbank Science Center, 156 Heaton Park Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30307, Phone: (404) 929-6308; Fax: (404) 370-1336 chris.showalter@fernbank.edu 2: Professor West Virginia University, Division of Forestry, PO Box 6125 Morgantown, WV, 26506-6125, Phone: (304) 293-2941 ext. 2491 rwhitmor@wvu.edu

Publication date: 2002-05-01

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.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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