A Meta-analysis of Biodiversity Responses to Management of Southeastern Pine Forests - Opportunities for Open Pine Conservation.
Greene, R. E., Iglay, R. B., Evans, K. O., Miller, D. A., Wigley, T. B., & Riffell, S. K. (2016). A Meta-analysis of Biodiversity Responses to Management of Southeastern Pine Forests - Opportunities for Open Pine Conservation. Forest Ecology and Management. 360, 30-39. DOI:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.10.007.
Open canopy conditions in southeastern pine (Pinus spp.) forests were historically maintained by frequent fire and other disturbances, without which midstory hardwoods create closed canopy conditions limiting value of pine stands for many endemic, disturbance-adapted species. Intensively managed pine forests, which comprise 19% of forests in the southeastern U.S., can emulate historical open pine conditions, providing appropriate vegetation structure and composition for many endemic species. However, exact mechanisms for producing and maintaining open pine conditions and subsequent effects on biodiversity have not been examined across regions and stand ages. To better inform managers about options for providing open pine conditions in intensively managed pine stands, we used meta-analyses to examine biodiversity and open pine focal species responses to 5 stand establishment intensities and 4 midrotation practices (prescribed fire, selective herbicide, fire and herbicide combination, and thinning). We calculated 1742 biodiversity and 169 open pine focal species effect sizes from 42 publications of manipulative studies at 14 unique study sites in managed loblolly pine (P. taeda L.) forests in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains of the southeastern U.S. We quantified diversity and abundance responses by taxa and management practices for vegetation, birds, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, and invertebrates. Diversity and abundance responses generally decreased as stand establishment intensity increased, but those reductions appeared to be short-term (