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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of shelterwood harvest and prescribed fire in upland Appalachian hardwood forests on bat activity

Published source details

Silvis A., Gehrt S.D. & Williams R.A. (2016) Effects of shelterwood harvest and prescribed fire in upland Appalachian hardwood forests on bat activity. Forest Ecology and Management, 360, 205-212


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Thin trees within forest and woodland Bat Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 2006–2010 of 12 tree stands in two upland hardwood forests in Ohio, USA (Silvis et al. 2016) found that overall bat activity was higher in thinned and burned tree stands than in untreated tree stands. Overall bat activity was higher in tree stands thinned with 50% of the overstorey retained and burned (average 16–30 bat passes/night) and tree stands thinned with 70% of the overstorey retained and burned (14–24 bat passes/night) than in untreated control stands (3–4 bat passes/night).. Four bat species or species groups were recorded (see original paper for data for individual species). The study does not distinguish between the effects of thinning and burning. In each of two forests, four tree stands (10 ha) were treated with thinning (commercially thinned between June 2005 and March 2006 with 50% or 70% overstorey retained) and prescribed fire (backing and strip fires in autumn 2009 or spring 2010) and two tree stands were untreated controls (tree density not reported). In each of 12 tree stands, eight points were sampled with bat detectors for 3 h/night over a total of six nights in May–August 2006 and June–September 2009 and 2010.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)

Use prescribed burning Bat Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 2006–2010 of twelve tree stands in two upland hardwood forests in Ohio, USA (Silvis et al. 2016) found that burned and thinned tree stands had higher overall bat activity than untreated tree stands. Overall bat activity was higher in tree stands burned and thinned with 50% of the overstorey retained (average 16–30 bat passes/night) and tree stands burned and thinned with 70% of the overstorey retained (14–24 bat passes/night) than in untreated control stands (3–4 bat passes/night).. Four bat species orspecies groups were recorded (see original paper for data for individual species). The study does not distinguish between the effects of burning and thinning. In each of two forests, four tree stands (10 ha) were treated with thinning (commercially thinned between June 2005 and March 2006 with 50% or 70% overstorey retained) and prescribed fire (backing and strip fires in autumn 2009 or spring 2010) and two tree stands were untreated controls. In each of 12 tree stands, eight points were sampled with bat detectors for 3 h/night over a total of six nights in May–August 2006 and June–September 2009 and 2010.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)