Effects of forest management on breeding bird abundances in southern/central Illinois [poster]

Henry L. Symanski, Jeffrey P. Hoover

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The reduction of hardwood tree species such as oak in deciduous forests in the Midwest is known as “mesophication”, whereby shade-tolerant trees (such as sugar maple and beech) overtake oaks and hickories in hardwood forests. A variety of forest management techniques have been used in an attempt to reduce or reverse this mesophication including various types of thinning/harvest and prescribed fire. While these techniques alter the forest structure to suit the needs of target tree species, their effects on the abundance and diversity of breeding songbirds is not well known. In this study, we examined the effects of forest management on breeding birds in central and southern Illinois. We conducted point counts at 536 points to assess breeding bird abundances from 5 managed forests in central and southern Illinois during 2014-2018. Survey points were distributed across each study site to have several points in each type of management (e.g. prescribed fire, thinning) and in areas of the forest not being managed. Comparisons of breeding bird abundances among forest management categories will be presented for a select subset of species abundant enough to analyze, representing various nesting and foraging guilds, and the implications of these results will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 Joint Meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists and the Wilson Ornithological Society, 27-30 October 2019, Cape May, New Jersey
StatePublished - 2019


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