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Communication

Accuracy and Precision of Commercial Thinning to Achieve Wildlife Management Objectives in Production Forests

1
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
2
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
3
Weyerhaeuser Company, Columbus, MS 39701, USA
4
Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Social Circle, GA 30025, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Todd Fredericksen
Forests 2021, 12(4), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040411
Received: 6 January 2021 / Revised: 26 January 2021 / Accepted: 26 March 2021 / Published: 30 March 2021
Tree stocking and the associated canopy closure in production forests is often greater than optimal for wildlife that require an open canopy and the associated understory plant community. Although mid-rotation treatments such as thinning can reduce canopy closure and return sunlight to the forest floor, stimulating understory vegetation, wildlife-focused thinning prescriptions often involve thinning stands to lower tree densities than are typically prescribed for commercial logging operations. Therefore, we quantified the accuracy and precision with which commercial logging crews thinned pre-marked and unmarked mid-rotation loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stands to residual basal areas of 9 (low), 14 (medium), and 18 (high) m2/ha. Following harvest, observed basal areas were 3.36, 1.58, and 0.6 m2/ha below target basal areas for the high, medium, and low basal area treatments, respectively. Pre-marking stands increased precision, but not accuracy, of thinning operations. We believe the thinning outcomes we observed are sufficient to achieve wildlife objectives in production forests, and that the added expense associated with pre-marking stands to achieve wildlife objectives in production forests depends on focal wildlife species and management objectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: accuracy; basal area; forest management; Georgia; habitat management; pine; precision; Pinus spp.; thinning; wildlife accuracy; basal area; forest management; Georgia; habitat management; pine; precision; Pinus spp.; thinning; wildlife
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MDPI and ACS Style

Keene, K.; Gulsby, W.; Colter, A.; Miller, D.; Johannsen, K.; Miller, K.; Martin, J. Accuracy and Precision of Commercial Thinning to Achieve Wildlife Management Objectives in Production Forests. Forests 2021, 12, 411. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040411

AMA Style

Keene K, Gulsby W, Colter A, Miller D, Johannsen K, Miller K, Martin J. Accuracy and Precision of Commercial Thinning to Achieve Wildlife Management Objectives in Production Forests. Forests. 2021; 12(4):411. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040411

Chicago/Turabian Style

Keene, Kent, William Gulsby, Allison Colter, Darren Miller, Kristina Johannsen, Karl Miller, and James Martin. 2021. "Accuracy and Precision of Commercial Thinning to Achieve Wildlife Management Objectives in Production Forests" Forests 12, no. 4: 411. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040411

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