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Comparing the effects of even-aged thinning and selective felling on boreal forest birds

Versluijs, Martijn and Hekkala, Anne-Maarit and Lindberg, Eva and Lämås, Tomas and Hjältén, Joakim (2020). Comparing the effects of even-aged thinning and selective felling on boreal forest birds. Forest Ecology and Management. 475 , 118404
[Journal article]

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Biodiversity is in decline and therefore alternative forest management approaches have gained interest. One of such approaches is uneven-aged silviculture, which has been suggested to better maintain mature or late-successional forest characteristics and species assemblages than even-aged silviculture. Therefore, it is assumed that uneven-aged silviculture can be a useful tool for landscape planning to benefit biodiversity. Nevertheless, there is a lack of empirical studies regarding bird responses to uneven-aged silviculture in north European boreal ecosystems. Here we test the similarly of bird assemblage structure between mature forests within even-aged silviculture ('thinning') and uneven-aged silviculture ('selective felling'). In spring 2018 we censused breeding birds using territory mapping in 14 thinned stands and 14 selectively felled stands. We found higher abundance and different bird assemblages in thinned stands compared to selectively felled stands. The pied flycatcher, tree pipit and great tit contributed most to the variation of bird assemblages between the two management types. None of the species were more abundant in selectively felled than in thinned stands. According to functional guilds, the abundance of ground breeders, ground feeders and generalists was higher in thinned stands than in selectively felled stands, similar results were found in the species richness of long-distance migrants, ground nesters, secondary cavity nesters and generalists. Independent of management type, time since treatment had an overall effect on assemblage structures, the mistle thrush and wren were negatively correlated with time since treatment, while the chiffchaff showed the opposite trend. Our results suggest that at these locations and given this particular type of uneven-age management, selective felling is less suitable for some abundant generalists than even-aged forest stands reaching the thinning age. However, the results from this study does not provide clear management recommendations aiming to maintain biodiversity, as management guidelines should be based on red-listed species and not on common generalists. Nevertheless, our results stresses the urgent need for more long-term studies comparing the effect of these different silvicultural strategies on bird assemblages.

Authors/Creators:Versluijs, Martijn and Hekkala, Anne-Maarit and Lindberg, Eva and Lämås, Tomas and Hjältén, Joakim
Title:Comparing the effects of even-aged thinning and selective felling on boreal forest birds
Series Name/Journal:Forest Ecology and Management
Year of publishing :2020
Article number:118404
Number of Pages:9
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Bird assemblages, Forest management, Field experiment, Uneven-aged silviculture, Even-aged silviculture
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000581970500018
ID Code:19112
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:04 Dec 2020 16:23
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 19:47

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