A Forest Management Experiment in the Ozarks
The pine-oak forests of the Ozarks in southeastern Missouri offer some of the best bird habitat in the region. People have proposed selective logging as a less disruptive alternative to clear-cuts, however there has been no large scale, long-term study to document whether one type of timber management is better than another for forest birds. The Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project is a long-term experiment using relatively large (1,000-acre) tracts of forest to study the effects of different kinds of logging practices. For this study the researchers counted and mapped birds' territories for five years before logging, and again in the years after either clear-cutting parts of the tracts or doing selective logging. We spoke with John Faaborg about his work to better understand how logging affects the inhabitants of the woodlands.