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Pine-grassland Birds and the Effects of Fire Frequency, Seasonality, and Scale Jim Cox Tall Timbers Research Station.

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Presentation on theme: "Pine-grassland Birds and the Effects of Fire Frequency, Seasonality, and Scale Jim Cox Tall Timbers Research Station."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Pine-grassland Birds and the Effects of Fire Frequency, Seasonality, and Scale Jim Cox Tall Timbers Research Station

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5 Pine-grassland forests in Florida support more species of breeding birds per acre than hardwood-dominated forests

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7 Frequency Season Scale

8 Frequency Season Scale

9 Water oak, sweetgum, pine Loblolly- shortleaf NB-66 Fire suppression for 40 years

10 Bird Counts on NB66:

11 Breeding birds on NB66 ( )

12 Fire Frequency and Bachmans Sparrow Trend -2.3%

13 43 nests in areas burned <10 months 4 nests in areas burned >18 months Nest Site Selection

14 Bare Ground Bare Ground % Changes in % bare ground with time since burn

15 Nests Bare Ground % Changes in % bare ground with time since burn

16 6 Months Post-burn18 Months Post-burn

17 Burn frequencies optimal for some species may seem extreme Florida BBS trend: -5.45% per year Eastern Meadowlark

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19 Meadowlark Trends on Wade Tract

20 RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER Cavities excavated only in living pine trees Requires large areas of mature (>90 yrs) pine forests (BA ) Requires frequent ( 3 year) burning.

21 Greater diversity of arboreal ants on sites burned 3 year Red-cockaded Woodpecker

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23 n Average percent decrease in woody/palmetto per 10 years 1. Dormant season burn every three years Growing season burn every other year Both dormant and growing season burns 17-24

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25 Higher frequency burning puts more calcium into food cycle. Larger clutches laid in first year after a fire regardless of season. Higher Frequency Improves Nest Productivity

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27 Henslows Sparrow Global Population <95,000 Winters throughout southeastern pinelands (Oct – Apr)

28 Florida Grasshopper Sparrow and Migratory Grasshopper Sparrow

29 Burn class = number of growing seasons post- burn M. Korosy, UCF dissertation

30 Frequency: <3 year return intervals best meet needs of declining pine-grassland birds

31 Frequency Season Scale

32 Summer Burns Help to Control Thickets on Apalachicola National Forest

33 Thickets 1992 Thickets 2008

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35 Nests Bare Ground % Two-year return interval

36 12 ha study area 70 ha burn block burned 5/28/2003 Return of Breeding Birds Following a Late May Burn 4 surveys prior to burn 9 surveys conducted after burn ( 1 visit every 5-7 days )

37 PreWeek1-3Week4-6Week6+ Abundance Northern Bobwhite Effect Coefficient Std Error CONSTANT REG ANOVA Source SS df MS F-ratio P Regression Residual

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39 Winter Bachmans Sparrow Abundance Wade Tract Burns

40 1 Year Interval 2 Year Interval 3 Year Interval 40 Years No Fire Tall Timbers Fire Plots Established in 1958 Can Early Season Burns Get the Job Done?

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42 …where nearly everyone nests on the ground

43 Nesting season Effects of burn season on breeding birds may be different… Winter burns Growing season burns

44 Dont rush to mimic Mother Nature

45 Frequency Season Scale

46 …burn at the smallest scale possible to improve bobwhite survival and productivity. Wellendorf and Palmer 2006

47 Autumn Bobwhite Densities on Large- & Small- scale Burn Plots

48 25 acre50 acre 100 acre Growing season Dormant season

49 Quail Productivity

50 Quail Abundance

51 Burn Scale and Bachmans Sparrow

52 Summary Male home range size Male site fidelity Maximum displacement Monthly survival rates Male densities Tendency Statistically significant Larger on small-scale Lower on small-scale Greater on small-scale No difference Lower on small-scale

53 Because of concerns about potential scale effects, it took us 5 days to burn the acreage wed normally burn in a day….. Chuck Hess, ANF

54 Frequency Season Scale

55 Frequency Season Scale Higher Importance Lower Importance

56 Lack of fire is the disturbance!

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58 Burns conducted since 2001 Bachmans Sparrows on Carolina Sandhill National Wildlife Refuge

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