Early-successional forest birds, which depend on disturbance events within forested landscapes, have received increased conservation concern because of long-term population declines. Herbicides are often used to control vegetation within early-successional forests, with unknown effects on avian vital rates. We used a large–scale experiment to test how nest and post–fledging survival were influenced by herbicide intensity within managed conifer plantations across 2 breeding seasons. We created a gradient of 4 stand–scale herbicide treatments (light, moderate, and intensive, and no–spray control) and evaluated the reproductive response of the White–crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), a declining songbird in managed forest landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Against initial predictions, we found no evidence that either daily nest survival (n > 760 nests across all treatments) or post–fledging survival (n = 70 individuals reared in control and moderate treatments) were influenced by herbicide application intensity. Increased herbicide intensity resulted in an extensive reduction in vegetation cover at both stand and nest–patch scales; in contrast, vegetative cover at nest sites did not differ across herbicide treatments, nor was nest survival related to vegetation concealment measures. As the largest experimental investigation to assess forest herbicide effects on songbird demography, our study indicates that components of sparrow reproductive success were not influenced by experimental vegetation control measures, although additional work on other early-successional species will be useful to evaluate the generalities of our findings.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 121 • No. 2