Habitat Associations of Birds and Mammals in an Appalachian Forest

Relative abundance of small birds and mammals was determined on 18 0.4-ha plots in a mature, second-growth central Appalachian forest. Habitat heterogeneity had been increased by clearcutting and herbicide application on ridge-top, and south- and north-facing slopes 4 years prior to sampling. Areas with low basal area and high midstory cover provided the best habitat for white-footed mice (Peromyseus leueopus) and golden mice (Ochrotomys nuttalli). Areas with high basal area and low understory density provided the best habitat for ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus) and red-eyed vireos (Vireo olivaceus). Areas with intermediate basal area and understory cover representative of stands following timber stand improvement (TSI) favored tufted titmice (Parus bicolor), hairy woodpeckers (Picoides villosus), and pine voles (Microtus pinetorum). Intermediate treatment and patch clearcutting should be restricted to upper slopes whenever possible to provide habitat for small mammals. Sites near water should be maintained as mature forests to provide habitat for ovenbirds and red-eyed vireos.

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