Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird species in

Discussions of the nature and definition of old growth and primary forests.

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#1)  Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird species in

Postby Joe » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:46 am

Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird species in a warming climate

https://phys.org/news/2017-12-complex-o ... ecies.html

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#2)  Re: Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird specie

Postby RayA » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:43 pm

Joe, thanks for posting this. It would be great to know if the same would hold true in the eastern US forests too.
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#3)  Re: Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird specie

Postby Joe » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:58 am

Ray, I bet it's true in the east too- but, as we know, there isn't much research being done on old growth by academics.
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#4)  Re: Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird specie

Postby RayA » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:16 am

I think so too, it just makes sense... that's how our forests used to be. Of course, the populations of different species have been skewed by the habitat changes we've created.

If academics began studying old growth here, it would be a pretty crowded field in week one !  Where would they go??
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#5)  Re: Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird specie

Postby dbhguru » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:51 am

Joe, Ray,

  There are bird species in the East that have higher populations in old growth than young forests. In her books, Joan Maloof lists several species that fit this classification. Dr. Chis Haney, then with the Nature Conservancy, did studies of the warblers in PA old growth back in the 1990s and documented the preference of blackburnian warblers, to name a species, for OG hemlock forests. However, I don't think we're going to understand the significance of old growth habitat in the postage-stamp sized areas we have here in Massachusetts. Studying bird species distributions in NY's Adirondacks large old growth areas in terms of avian preferences for older forests could work.

   One challenge we seem to be having here in the Baystate is the confusion of 70 - 100 year old woodlands with bonafide old growth. Woodlands growing back for 70 years from what were open fields are vastly simpler in structure and species richness than what we see in real old growth. That reality has yet to be fully accepted by local wildlife biologists who are on the early successional habitat kick.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
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#6)  Re: Complex, old-growth forests may protect some bird specie

Postby Joe » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:03 am

I believe John James Audubon wrote a lot about wildlife in the eastern forests in the early eighteen century? I think I have some writings by him. I'll take a look.

I recall he said there were so many squirrels they'd migrate- by the billions- that they'd make quite an uproar as such teeming populations would pass through the forests. I recall he also said that a squirrel could go from the Atlantic to the Mississippi without getting out of the trees.

And he talked about the vast numbers of passenger pigeons- so many, that during migration they'd fill the sky- for days- all a hunter had to do was aim his gun up- and shoot- and bring down several. He must have said a lot about other species too- especially since he drew so many.

So, Audubon and other writers from long ago must be a good source of information.

But our modern wildlife experts would prefer to clear cut the forests!

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