Avian community response to southern pine ecosystem restoration for red-cockaded woodpeckers
The effects of Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) management on nontarget birds is not widely known. Intensive managentcnt for pine specialists such as the Red-cockaded Woodpecker may negatively impact both Nearctic-Neotropical and Temperate Zone migrants associated with hardwood vegetation. To evaluate possible positive and negative associations, we surveyed avian conimunitics from 1995-1907 using point counts within managed Red-cockaded Woodpecker cavity tree clusters and mature forest control sites in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) and loblolly (P. taeda)-shortleaf (P. echinata) pine habitals. In general, sites managed for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers supported more diverse and numerous bird populations than mature forest control sites. During the breeding season in loblolly-shortleaf and longleaf pine habitats, respectively, species richness was 47% and 23% greater, avian abundance was 57% and 65% greater, and bird species diversity was 25% and 21% greater within managed Red-cockaded Woodpecker cluster sites than within control sites. During winter, species richness and avian abundance each were 52% higher within managed Red-cockaded Woodpecker cluster sites than control sites in loblolly-shortleaf pine habitat.