Responses of the breeding bird community to tree thinning and prescribed surface fire, Kaibab and Coconino National Forests, Arizona, USA

  • Published source details Hurteau S.R., Sisk T.D., Block W.M. & Dickson B.G. (2008) Fuel-reduction treatment effects on avian community structure and diversity. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 72, 1168-1174


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Thin trees within forests

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Use prescribed burning on pine forests

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Thin trees within forests

    A controlled before-and-after study in 2000-2006 at three ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa forest sites in northern Arizona, USA (Hurteau et al. 2008), found that species richness and evenness did not differ between thinned forest blocks and controls. In addition, none of five common species were more abundant after thinning, but two (yellow-rumped warbler Dendroica coronata and mountain chickadees Poecile gambeli were less abundant in thinned plots. This study is discussed in more detail in ‘Prescribed burning’.


  2. Use prescribed burning on pine forests

    A controlled before-and-after study in 2000-2006 at three ponderosa pine forest sites in northern Arizona, USA (Hurteau et al. 2008), found no differences in species richness or evenness between blocks (16-30 ha) which were thinned, those which were burned, those both thinned and burned and control blocks. Western bluebird, and pygmy nuthatch Sitta pygmea were significantly more abundant after both burning and thinning (with bluebirds also being more abundant in burned-only sites), compared to controls.  Mountain chickadees Poecile gambeli were less abundant under burning and burning-and-thinning, than in controls, whilst yellow-rumped warblers Dendroica coronata were less abundant after thinning-and-burning, compared to control sites and dark-eyed juncos Junco hyemalis did show a response to treatments. Thinning was undertaken in autumn 2002 and burns in autumn 2003. Birds were surveyed (point sampling) in May-July 2000-2002 and 2003-2006.


Output references

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