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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Higher value of restored fast growing cottonwood Populus deltoides stands, compared to oak Quercus spp. stands for forest birds in the Mississippi floodplain, USA

Published source details

Twedt D.J., Wilson R.R., Henne-Kerr J.L. & Grosshuesch D.A. (2002) Avian response to bottomland hardwood reforestation: the first 10 years. Restoration Ecology, 10, 645-655

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Restore or create forests Bird Conservation

A replicated study in the summers of 1996-1997 at 20 restored bottomland forest sites in the Mississippi floodplain in Mississippi and Louisiana, USA (Twedt et al. 2002), found that birds used young (less than ten year-old) restored cottonwood Populus deltoides forests more than similarly aged restored oak Quercus spp. forests (average of 380-449 territories/100 ha, 14-20 species/plot and Shannon index of 2.0-2.5 for 13 cottonwood stands vs. 257 territories/100 ha, 8 species/plot and Shannon index of 1.5 for seven oak stands). Conservation value (calculated as density multiplied by a conservation priority score) was highest for 5-9 year-old cottonwood stands but did not differ between oak stands and younger (2-4 year-old) cottonwood.  Nest survival and predation rates did not differ between forest types, but brood parasitism was higher on 5-9 year-old cottonwood (23% of 580 nests) than young cottonwood (3% of 93 nests) or oak (1% of 152 nests) stands. The slower-growing oak stands were used more by open-country species.