Bird and small mammal species composition between hardwood retention forest treatment sites in mixed stands.
Birds and small mammals are essential members in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and rely on complex habitat structure, such as a diverse mixture of trees, understory growth, or open patches. I will be identifying bird and small mammal composition in relation to forest stand complexity across various forest harvesting treatments, such as clear-cut and new partial-cut methods (partial retention/shelterwood) and compare these to mature forest (control) patches. In addition to assessing songbird and small mammal composition, I will also assess target guilds for site use, such as owls and woodpeckers. Much of the work will utilize passive acoustic monitoring via autonomous recording units, but I will also employ trail cameras for small mammal assessments as well as conduct focal transect surveys and tracking observations to assess how target birds are utilizing these sites for breeding/foraging. I expect the John Prince Research Forest will be able to better understand the complex bird and small mammal community occupying their forests and can continue to ensure species diversity is remaining high in managed harvest sites while employing novel harvest techniques to adapt to climate change.