Bird-vegetation associations in thinned and unthinned young Douglas-fir forests 10 years after thinning

Forest Ecology and Management
By: , and 



Quantitative associations between animals and vegetation have long been used as a basis for conservation and management, as well as in formulating predictions about the influence of resource management and climate change on populations. A fundamental assumption embedded in the use of such correlations is that they remain relatively consistent over time. However, this assumption of stationarity has been rarely tested – even for forest birds, which are frequently considered to be 'indicator species' in management operations. We investigated the temporal dynamics of bird-vegetation relationships in young Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests over more than a decade following initial anthropogenic disturbance (commercial thinning). We modeled bird occurrence or abundance as a function of vegetation characteristics for eight common bird species for each of six breeding seasons following forest thinning. Generally, vegetation relationships were highly inconsistent in magnitude across years, but remained positive or negative within species. For 3 species, relationships that were initially strong dampened over time. For other species, strength of vegetation association was apparently stochastic. These findings indicate that caution should be used when interpreting weak bird-vegetation relationships found in short-term studies and parameterizing predictive models with data collected over the short term.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Bird-vegetation associations in thinned and unthinned young Douglas-fir forests 10 years after thinning
Series title Forest Ecology and Management
DOI 10.1016/j.foreco.2013.06.052
Volume 310
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 14 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Forest Ecology and Management
First page 1057
Last page 1070
Country United States
State Oregon
Other Geospatial Oregon Cascade Mountains;Williamette National Forest
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