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Wildlife Tree Studies on Industrial Forest Lands of Washington and Oregon Remote Sensing Detection of Snags In Root-Rot Pockets Creation of Snags Using Mechanical Harvesters Fungal Dynamics In Snag Formation Will Littke and John Browning Weyerhaeuser Forestry R&D Centralia, WA
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Remote Sensing Detection of Snags In Root-Rot Pockets
Creation of Snags Using Mechanical Harvesters
Fungal Dynamics In Snag Formation
Will Littke and John Browning Weyerhaeuser Forestry R&D Centralia, WA
Ed Arnett and Richard Schmitz Oregon State University
Reduction in butt-rot and bole decay fungi and those species associated with fire
Phaeolus schweinitzii. Laetiporus sulphureus
Reduction in importance of defect and decay organisms which flourish under uneven-age forest structure
(Phellinus pini, mistletoe, Echinodontium etc.)
Snag density and quality has also diminished as a consequence of harvest activities, stand conversion (hardwood to conifer etc), machine operability and out of concern for worker safety.
Residual snags left in the boundary of harvest units pose a reduced risk to harvest and planting personnel, but the utility of this practice is limited
Strategy:Determine effectiveness of various snag/green tree location and retention alternatives on wildlife use to develop improved snag recruitment and use models.
Computer enhanced photo evaluation coupled with GIS can locate mortality centers and display this data against other topographic and stand data platforms
Traditional aerial photo evaluation lacks definitive signatures from which to readily locate and evaluate centers of mortality
Age class overlays provide an easy format from which to effectively search for ideal forest structure: large dbh, species, and location
In 39 discrete centers, 200 standing dead trees across all age classes were investigated for mortality agent and for signs of wildlife use.
Nesting activity and wood excavation was concentrated in trees with a mean dbh of 30-40 cm
In 39-discrete centers Armillaria and Phellinus caused mortality produced viable nesting sites in trees greater than 33-years old.
Estimates of aerial survey data show that root-rot is creating a large number of snags on a per acre basis. Such scattered mortality on a landscape basis is difficult to detect and manage using traditional ground based survey methods.
Root-plates resulting from windthrow of Armillaria and Phellinus infected trees have a high association with nesting sites of birds (Wrens and Flycatchers).
Mortality centers of sufficient size and which meet the age (dbh) requirements for a high probability of cavity nesting sites are shown on this map overlay by the red dots.
Validation of active nest sites provides an important tool in layout of harvest unit boundaries and wildlife areas.
(1) accelerate the establishment of snag habitat;
(2) improve distribution across the landscape; and
(3) create snags that are operationally safe and practicable.
A variety of snag species (DF, WH) and configurations were created across a broad geography of south central Oregon.
Adjacent to Stand Buffer
Selection in Open Areas
(1) Several created snags already have received use by various species of wildlife, particularly woodpeckers and raptors (e.g., red-tailed hawk).
(2) Woodpecker foraging was documented on 50% (558 of 1,117 snags) of the created snags. One to nine woodpecker nest cavities were documented on 21 different trees within 14 different settings; 7 of these cavities occurred in created snags within single-high treatments.
(3) Woodpecker foraging and flaking activity was observed on created snags that occurred in all 6 different treatments.
(4) Observations of wildlife species using created snags for perching and foraging include the American robin, hairy woodpecker, northern flicker, red-tailed hawk, Stellar’s jay, Swainson’s thrush, and turkey vulture. Additionally, raptor pellets (regurgitated bone, hair and/or feathers by a hawk or owl) have been discovered at the base of some created snags.
(5) Day-roosting bats (species unknown) were observed on 3 different occasions under exfoliating bark on 3 different created snags.
(A) In first year, activity predominated by bark beetles and ambrosia beetles followed by flathead and round-headed borers.
(B) A few of the mechanical created snag trees contained contained pre-existing decay columns caused by Phellinus pini and Phellinus hartigii (limb and bole infections). These were among the first to be exploited by cavity nesters.
(C) Early successional decay fungi predominate in other created snags, including; Cryptoporus volvatus, Gleophyllum sepiarium, Schizophyllum commune, Trichaptum abietinus, and Coriolus versicolor.