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Opportunity Costs of Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Foraging Habitat

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The opportunity cost, or the loss in timber production, due to managing longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) stands as foraging habitat for red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) is a function of timber management objectives. Economic objectives that maximize soil expectation values (SEV) based on cubic foot (CF) volume result in shorter rotations and greater relative opportunity costs than wood production objectives that maximize the mean annual increment (MAI) based on board foot (BF) volume. When timber rotation ages are less than 60 years, opportunity costs of managing woodpecker foraging habitat are minimized with a rotation of 79 years. When timber rotation ages are greater than 60 years, there is no opportunity cost associated with management for woodpecker foraging habitat. In some cases extending rotations beyond 79 years adds little additional opportunity cost, and rotation ages greater than 95 years could provide both nesting and foraging habitat. Finally, opportunity costs diminish as the density of colonies on a forest decreases. South J. Appl. For. 13(2):81-85.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634

Publication date: 01 May 1989

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