Snag recruitment and mortality in a bottomland hardwood forest following partial harvesting: second-year resultsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Snags are defined simply as standing dead trees. They function as an important component of wildlife habitat. Unfortunately, little information has been gathered regarding snags in bottomland forest ecosystems. We initiated a study to determine the effects of harvesting on the flora and fauna of a bottomland hardwood ecosystem adjacent the Mississippi River in Issaquena County, MS. Treatments included complete harvesting (clearcut), partial harvesting, and an unharvested control. Our objective was to determine the density, recruitment, and “mortality” of snags. We recorded 189 snags = 10-cm diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) during pretreatment measurements. Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata Willd.) and boxelder (Acer negundo L.) comprised 35 and 27 percent of snags, respectively. Two years following harvest, no differences were found in snag density, cumulative mortality, or recruitment between the partial harvesting and controls. However, differences were found between these two treatments and the complete harvest. Long-term data are needed before definitive statements can be made regarding management impacts on snags in bottomland hardwood ecosystems.