The effect of forest roads on the reproductive success of forest-dwelling passerine birds
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Forest Science. 48(2): 391-396.
Recent studies indicate that forest roads may affect the distribution of forest-dwelling birds. However, previous studies have not demonstrated any significant effects of forest roads on avian productivity. We studied the effect of maintained and unmaintained forest roads on (1) forest bird nest survival, (2) reproductive parameters of ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus) potentially associated with food abundance, and (3) habitat and microclimate at six sites on the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire, during two breeding seasons. Nest survival did not differ between areas near (0-150 m) and far (>150 m) from maintained forest roads, and was marginally (P= 0.08) higher in areas near (0-150 m) unmaintained roads. When the 0-150 m distance class was subdivided, however, nest survival was significantly higher within 0-75 m of maintained roads than >75-150 m away. Ovenbird nest initiation dates, clutch size, and fledging success did not differ between areas near (0-150 m) and far (>150 m) from maintained and unmaintained forest roads, and this result did not change when the distance class 0-150 m from roads was subdivided. There were no relationships between habitat or microclimate and distance from maintained roads. We conclude that small, unsurfaced forest roads at low road density do not result in decreases in forest passerine bird productivity in extensively forested areas in New England.
KeywordsEdges; habitat; microclimate; nest success; Seiurus aurocapillus
King, David I.; DeGraaf, Richard M. 2002. The effect of forest roads on the reproductive success of forest-dwelling passerine birds. Forest Science. 48(2): 391-396.