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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Monday, November 2 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Conserving Open Pine Conditions and Biodiversity in Working Forested Landscapes

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Rachel E. Greene, Raymond B. Iglay –Mississippi State University; Kristine O. Evans, Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative; Darren A. Miller, Weyerhaeuser Company; T. Bently Wigley, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement

Open canopy conditions in southeastern pine (Pinus spp.) forests were historically maintained by frequent fire and other disturbances, without which canopies close, limiting value of pine stands for many endemic, disturbance-adapted species. Managed pine forests can emulate historical open pine conditions, although exact mechanisms are seldom examined at large spatial scales and throughout typical stand rotation lengths. Therefore, we examined structural conditions and associated biodiversity and open pine focal species responses to 5 stand establishment intensities and 4 mid-rotation practices (prescribed fire, selective herbicide, fire and herbicide combination, and thinning) in managed loblolly pine (P. taeda L.) in the southeastern Coastal Plains. We quantified structural conditions (e.g., basal area) from 19 publications and used meta-analyses to calculate 1,742 biodiversity and 169 effect sizes for open pine focal species from 42 publications. Biodiversity metrics generally decreased as stand establishment intensity increased, but those reductions appeared to be short-term (< 3 years). Birds and open pine focal species responded positively to chemical stand establishment relative to a mechanically-prepared control. Post-thin stands receiving mid-rotation management can approximate open pine structural conditions. Mid-rotation management elicited positive and neutral species-specific responses from vegetation, birds, and small mammals, but short-term responses of herpetofauna and invertebrates were often negative following fire and herbicide applications. Continued research on under-represented taxa (e.g., herpetofauna and invertebrates) and long-term effects of management will further understanding of how silvicultural practices can produce and maintain open pine structural conditions and associated wildlife communities in working forested landscapes.

Monday November 2, 2015 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
Windsor B

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