The effects of small clearcuts (1 - 8 ha) on avian communities in the forest of eastern Maine were studied using point counts during spring 1978 - 1981. Surveys were conducted in uncut (control) and clear-cut (treatment) plots in three stand types: conifer, hardwood, and mixed growth. We used a mark-recapture model and its associated jackknife species richness estimator (N), as an indicator of avian community structure. Increases in estimated richness (N) and Shannon - Weaver diversity (H') were noted in the treated hardwood and mixed growth, but not in the conifer stands. Seventeen avian species increased in relative abundance, whereas two species declined. Stand treatment was associated with important changes in bird species composition. Increased habitat patchiness and the creation of forest edge are hypothesized as causes for the greater estimates of richness and diversity.
Additional publication details
Avian community response to small-scale habitat disturbance in Maine