Site Preparation Influences on Vegetative Composition and Avian and Small Mammal Communities in the South Carolina Upper Coastal Plain

The composition and diversity of redeveloping plant communities, along with associated small mammal and bird communities, were compared on hexazinone and mechanically-prepared sites at 2, 3, and 5 years post-treatment. Diversity of herbaceous vegetation was higher on the mechanically-prepared sites at 5 years post-treatment, while the diversity of woody vegetation did not differ in any of the age classes. Small mammals were sampled by removal trapping and birds by circular census plots. On the 2-year post-treatment sites, small mammal capture rates were greater on the mechanically-prepared areas than on the hexazinone sites. Capture rates and species composition did not differ between treatments on the 3- and 5-year post-treatment sites. Bird diversity was higher on the hexazinoneprepared sites at 2 and 3 years post-treatment and apparently was related to greater numbers of residual snags. Differences in the abundance of individual bird species were related to habitat structure and were no longer evident in the 5-year post-treatment sites.

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