The effects of regeneration management in pine plantations on vegetation, small mammal, and avian communities on the Coastal Plain of North Carolina
Mihalco, Rebecca Lynn
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In recent years the timber industry has become increasingly dependant on mechanical and herbicide site preparation and release treatments. While these treatments have been shown to promote pine growth, the increased suppression of the vegetation communities has raised concerns about their effects on the wildlife communities. This study determined the effects of varying intensities of regeneration management on vegetation, small mammal, and songbird communities. Measurements of cover and richness were taken for vegetation and abundance and richness were taken for the faunal groups for two years post treatment. Treatment effects were evident in both years, however, the faunal communities had varied responses. Both small mammal and avian communities were negatively impacted by treatments with an herbicide site preparation. However, while small mammals were also influenced by the release treatment type, avian communities were more strongly influenced by the mechanical site preparation/bed spacing type.