Bat response to shelterwood harvests and forest structure in oak-hickory forests

Publication year: 2011
Source: Forest Ecology and Management, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 14 June 2011

Marne A., Titchenell , Roger A., Williams , Stanley D., Gehrt

Forest management practices, such as shelterwood harvesting, can greatly impact bat habitat relationships. Such practices can alter the amount of structural volume within a forest, which can influence bat foraging patterns. We determined the effects of shelterwood harvests of different retention levels (50% and 70% of full stocking) on bat activity patterns in oak-hickory forests located in southern Ohio. We used the Anabat system to monitor activity during May–September 2006. Our objectives were to quantify the effects of harvesting on structural volume and use the results to explain variations in bat activity. Because harvesting alters vertical structure as well as…

 Highlights: ► The amount of forest structural volume within different heights influences bat activity. ► Bat activity declined 50% when understory volume (3-6 m) reached 17 m3/ha. ► Red bat use declined 50% when volumes within 0-12 m exceeded 1750 m3/ha. ► Big brown bat and silver-haired bat use declined 50% when volumes within 3-6 m reached 63 m3/ha.