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Wintering Birds in Intensively Established Pine Plantations of Coastal Plain Mississippi

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Intensively established pine plantations are an important component of the southeastern US landscape. Because only minimal information exists about how current establishment practices affect wintering birds in managed forests, we documented effects of five pine plantation establishment practices that varied in intensity on wintering birds during years 1 through 5 postestablishment in the Coastal Plain of Mississippi. Using mixed general linear models, we compared species richness, total bird abundance, and individual species abundance. During the first 5 years, species richness and total abundance were greatest in the chemical-only establishment practice, whereas species richness and total abundance were lower in mechanical site preparation establishments with increasingly intensive chemical herbaceous controls. For five common species with treatment effects, abundance generally was greatest in the chemical-only establishment practice and abundance decreased as establishment intensity increased. Increasing stand establishment intensity in mechanical-prepared treatments generally reduced presence of wintering avian species in young pine plantations of the Lower Coastal Plain. Conversely, tree and snag retention facilitated by chemical-only site preparation may enrich avian assemblages in intensively established pine plantations.
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Keywords: Mississippi; Southeast; forest management; herbicide; intensive forestry; site preparation; snags

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-05-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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