Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Response of Brown-Headed Nuthatches to Thinning of Pine Plantations

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:Wilson, MD, Watts, BD
Journal:The Wilson Bulletin
Date Published:1999
ISBN Number:00435643
Keywords:Sitta, Sitta europaea, Sitta pusilla, Sittidae
Abstract:Brown-headed Nuthatches (Sitta pusilla) reached their highest abundance within loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations in the first year after thinning and declined in subsequent years. Commercial thinning of plantations resulted in a reduction of canopy cover, hardwood basal area, and understory density. Overall, the detection rates of nuthatches were low (19% of points surveyed) and no nuthatches were detected in stands before thinning. Nuthatches were more than three times as likely to be detected within survey points containing snags compared to those that did not. However, snag density did not vary significantly between stand ages. These patterns suggest that nuthatch distribution within stands may be influenced by snag distribution but that distribution among stands may be determined by the density and height of understory vegetation.
Short Title:The Wilson Bulletin
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