Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Response of terrestrial vertebrates to three silvicultural treatments in the Central Oregon Coast Range Public Deposited

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  • Growing concerns over maintaining animal and plant biodiversity have led to significant changes in forest management policies in the Pacific Northwest. Silvicultural alternatives to clear cutting are being suggested to promote development, retention, or creation of late-successional features such as large trees, multilayered canopies, snags and logs. As alternative management techniques are applied to forested landscapes, land managers need to assess their effects on wildlife. I systematically sampled diurnal breeding bird and small mammal populations in the eastern Central Oregon Coast Range 1 year prior to and 2- to 4-years after harvest to determine effects of 3 silvicultural treatments: modified clearcut, two-story, and small patch group selection harvest on wildlife species compared with uncut controls. Based on measures of community similarity and responses of individual bird species, the small patch treatment (a silvicultural treatment representing a light intensity disturbance) was most similar in species composition to controls, while the two-story treatment (twoaged silvicultural treatment representing a moderate to heavy disturbance) was most similar to the modified clearcut treatment (even-aged management treatment representing a heavy intensity disturbance). Communities in control and group selection treatments were represented by different bird species than two-story and clearcut treatments. Ten bird species associated with mid- to late-successional forests declined after intensive harvest. Nine bird species responded positively to harvesting and increased in 1 or more treatments. Only 1 taxonomic group of small mammals showed a significant response to treatment; shrews (Sorex spp.) declined in two-story and clearcut treatments. I used artificial nests placed on the ground and in shrubs to compare nest predation rates among treatments. Artificial shrub nest predation rates were higher (P< 0.10) in two-story and clearcut treatments compared with control and small patch group selection stands. Animal responses to the silvicultural treatments I studied indicate a variety of stand types are needed to meet needs of all species. Placement of these stand types on the landscape should be considered so as to maintain well-distributed populations. I examined only a limited number of silvicultural options. As new treatments are implemented, animal response to them should be monitored.
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