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E-M:/ A study on Boreal Forest Management

Enviro-Mich message from "David Zaber" <dzaber@chorus.net>


Here is a link for those of you interested in boreal forests and their
management.  I have included a snipet from the study:
"Ecological Sustainability of Birds in Boreal Forests"

Gerald Niemi1, JoAnn Hanowski1, Pekka Helle2, Robert Howe3, Mikko
Mönkkönen4, Lisa Venier5, and Daniel Welsh5

1University of Minnesota; 2Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute;
3University of Wisconsin; 4University of Oulu, Finland; 5Canadian Forest


"To some extent, regeneration of forests after clear-cutting and after
natural disturbance is similar. Likewise, commercial thinning of forests and
gap disturbance may provide similar habitats for birds. These similarities,
however, are superficial. Forest fire has been the dominant regeneration
force in the boreal region, and there is a profound difference between
natural and logged-habitat disturbances. For example, fire intervals are
highly variable and may range from 20 or 30 years to >100 years (e.g.,
Heinselman 1973, 1996, Zackrisson 1977, Bradshaw 1993, Ward and Tithecott
1993), whereas logging rotations occur at more regular and shorter
intervals. Dry sites generally burn more frequently than moist sites, and
some moist refugia may have escaped forest fire for hundreds of years or
longer. One of the main differences between natural and logged stands
(irrespective of their age) is the amount of dead and damaged trees
remaining on the site (Niemi and Probst 1990). This difference affects many
aspects of these stands, such as the abundance of hole-nesting species and
species that feed on invertebrates living in such trees (Esseen et al. 1997,
Schulte and Niemi 1998). In Fennoscandia, fire elimination leads to spruce
(Picea) dominance in previously mixed stands of pine (Pinus), aspen
(Populus), and birch (Betula), and hence, a reduction in the presence of
mixed or deciduous-dominated forests. Several bird species that are
particularly affected include woodpeckers and the Long-tailed Tit
(Aegithalos caudatus) (Angelstam and Mikusinski 1994). "

David J. Zaber

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