Leave standing deadwood/snags in forests
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Snags or standing dead trees and other dead wood can provide habitat or resources for some species within forest. Retaining or increasing provision of these features may benefit some forest mammal species.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, controlled study in 2007–2008 of three stands of loblolly pine Pinus taeda in South Carolina, USA (Davis et al. 2010) found that increasing the amount of forest standing deadwood increased the abundance of one of three shrew species compared to removing dead wood but not compared to in unmanipulated plots. More southeastern shrews Sorex longirostris were caught in plots with increased standing deadwood quantities (0.046 shrews/m of drift fence) than in plots cleared of fallen debris (0.013). Neither treatment differed significantly from the quantity in unmanipulated plots (0.026). There were no significant differences between treatments for southern short-tailed shrew Blarina carolinensis (standing deadwood: 0.069 shrews/m of drift fence; debris cleared: 0.051; unmanipulated: 0.058) or North American least shrew Cryptotis parva (standing deadwood: 0.004 shrews/m of drift fence; debris cleared: 0.014; unmanipulated: 0.015). Three plots, each 9.3 ha, were located in each of three loblolly pine stands, planted in 1950–1953. In each stand, standing deadwood quantities were increased tenfold in one plot in 2001, by ringbarking and injecting herbicide into trees, in another plot woody debris ≥10 cm across and ≥60-cm long was removed annually from 1996 and one plot was unmanipulated. Shrews were sampled across plots for 14 days, on seven occasions, from January 2007 to August 2008. Shrews were caught in 19-l plastic buckets, connected by drift fencing.Study and other actions tested