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Bird Community Relationships to Succession in Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) Woodlands

Mark A. Rumble and John E. Gobeille
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 140, No. 2 (Oct., 1998), pp. 372-381
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2426953
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Bird Community Relationships to Succession in Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) Woodlands
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Abstract

We studied the relationship between breeding birds and seral stages of green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) woodlands in central South Dakota between 1990 and 1992. Stands of early seral green ash undergoing primary succession had few small trees with western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis) in the understory. Some early seral green ash stands resulted from retrogression and had large trees with grass understory. Late seral green ash stands were represented by greater overstory cover consisting of green ash and chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) shrubs and small trees in the understory. Sixty-five of 81 bird species that were observed in these woodlands required woodland vegetation as part of their habitat. Tree- and shrub-nesting birds were the most common and were associated with late seral stages. Ground-nesting birds had mixed relationships between early and late seral stages. Cavity-nesting birds used snags and dead tree branches which occurred in all seral stages. Correlations of birds with vegetation measurements suggested habitat features birds may have selected for in these woodlands.

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