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Response of birds to thinning young Douglas-fir forests

Fact Sheet 033-03

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Abstract

As a result of recent fire history and decades of even-aged forest management, many coniferous forests in western Oregon are composed of young (20-50 yrs), densely stocked Douglas-fir stands. Often these stands are structurally simple - a single canopy layer with one or two overstory tree species - and have a relatively sparse understory. The lack of structural complexity in these stands may limit the availability of key habitat components for several species of vertebrates, including birds. Thinning may increase structural diversity by reducing competition among overstory trees and increasing the amount of sunlight reaching the forest floor, thereby increasing development of understory vegetation. Existing old-growth forests may have developed under lower densities than is typical of contemporary plantations. Thus, thinning also may be a tool for accelerating the development of late-successional forest conditions in some circumstances. In addition to the potential increases in structural and biological diversity, thinning frequently is used to optimize wood fiber production and to generate timber revenue.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Response of birds to thinning young Douglas-fir forests
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
033-03
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
4 p.
First page:
1
Last page:
4
Online Only (Y/N):
Y