Studies of indirect effects of forest herbicide use on biota have improved dramatically during the last two decades, though further improvements are still needed. Based on our experience, we provide recommendations designed to ensure continued improvements to general field research, including forest herbicide-wildlife research. Specifically, we suggest that researchers should: 1) use a combination of public concerns and existing scientific information to focus research efforts (i.e., the appropriate foundation for this type of research is social and ecological); 2) predict and test social and ecological consequences of herbicide and alternative treatments on components of concern in forested landscapes, using scales (time and space) that are operationally, ecologically, and socially meaningful; 3) understand the ecology of biotic components of interest and their interaction with other components in shared ecosystems; 4) determine the appropriate integrative currency so that a synthesis of effects on ecosystem or economic parameters can be developed; 5) document treatment delivery and consequences for plants targeted for suppression and for improved growth; and 6) appreciate that herbicides could hold the key to a variety of wildlife management and vegetation (habitat) restoration efforts.
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