Breeding birds of even- and uneven-aged pine forests of eastern Texas
While single-tree selection, uneven-aged management is being used increasingly on southern national forests as an alternative to clearcutting and planting of pine, its effects on wildlife are largely unknown. We compared breeding season bird abundance, species richness, diversity, and composition among uneven-aged stands and six seral stages of even-aged stands in upland pine (predominantly loblolly pine, Pinus taeda Linnaeus) forests of eastern Texas. Even-aged stands 18–80 years old generally had the lowest abundance, richness, and diversity of birds; uneven-aged stands and even-aged stands 1–9 years old generally had comparable values for all three of these measures. Numbers of migrants were highest in seedling, sapling, and pre-commercially thinned even-aged stands. Although many migrants were encountered in uneven-aged stands, their frequencies of occurrence there (even in the most recently harvested stands) were generally less than in early sere even-aged stands. While overall bird abundance, species richness, and diversity under single-tree selection may be comparable or higher than that found throughout most of a typical national forest even-aged rotation, our data suggest that single-tree selection management will not provide suitable habitat for many migrant species that require early succession conditions.