Breeding bird response to varying amounts of basal area retention in riparian buffers

  • Published source details Hanowski J., Danz N., Lind J. & Niemi G. (2005) Breeding bird response to varying amounts of basal area retention in riparian buffers. Journal of Wildlife Management, 69, 689-698.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide or retain un-harvested buffer strips

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide or retain un-harvested buffer strips

    A replicated controlled trial along a stream in Minnesota, USA (Hanowski et al. 2005), found that bird species responded differently to timber harvest in riparian buffers, and that any amount of harvest affected breeding bird communities. Along the stream, 30 m wide forest buffers were established within plots with four treatments (3 plots/treatment): 1) no harvest in buffer; 2) reduction of tree basal area to 7-10 m²/ha; 3) reduction to 2 m²/ha (i.e. clear-cut); and 4) no harvest in buffer or adjacent upland forest. Bird surveys were conducted 1 year prior to and for 4 years after, harvest. In the first year after harvest, bird community composition changed in all buffer treatments relative to control plots, and diverged over time. More individuals and species (primarily associated with edge or early-successional habitats) colonized harvested buffers; abundances and species richness of interior forest species declined.


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