Using scenario modeling for red spruce restoration planning in West Virginia
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Journal of Forestry. 112(5): 457-466.
Active restoration of threatened or endangered species habitat may seem in conflict with the provisions of the Endangered Species Act because of the prohibition of "take," which can include habitat modification as well as death or harm to individuals. Risk-averse managers may choose to forego active management in known or presumed endangered species habitat to avoid killing an individual or harming critical habitat. We used the landscape-scale model LANDIS-II to simulate red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.)-dominated forest response to restoration actions for 100 years. Restoration strategies differed in management of the potential habitat for the recently delisted Virginia northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus). Model simulations show that active management with protections for existing red spruce stands resulted in a greater area dominated by red spruce than did larger, areawide protections. However, protecting larger areas of potential habitat resulted in an increase in red spruce in areas of low to moderate probability of occurrence for the flying squirrel, potentially increasing the area's suitability for this species.
Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa A.; Sturtevant, Brian R. 2014. Using scenario modeling for red spruce restoration planning in West Virginia. Journal of Forestry. 112(5): 457-466. https://doi.org/10.5849/jof.13-087.