I surveyed bird communities during the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons in oak-pine sawtimber (ST) stands, pine poletimber (PT) stands, high-density pine seedling (SS) stands, and recently clearcut areas throughout Holly Springs National Forest (HSNF), in north-central Mississippi. Species richness was 25% greater in forested stands compared to clearcut areas, yet total bird density was 50% greater in clearcut areas. Bird communities ranged from open-habitat assemblages in clearcut areas to forest-obligate assemblages in ST stands. Little overlap of avian community composition was observed between ST stands and clearcut areas. PT and SS stands supported avian communities where most species were observed at intermediate abundance values compared to ST or clearcut areas. Highly fragmented, closed-canopy stands embedded within the silvicultural landscape of HSNF do not support large populations of species traditionally associated with detrimental edge effects on forest-obligate songbirds. Intensively managed PT and SS stands appear to provide suboptimal habitat for forest and grassland species. Land managers in HSNF could maximize regional avian diversity by maintaining a mosaic of large closed-canopy, oak-pine stands, and fire-maintained open areas embedded among other silvicultural stand types.
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