Modeling Potential Changes in Rare Species Habitat from Planned Timber Harvest in Minnesota, USA

Tyler S. Gifford, John M. Zobel, Lindsey M. Shartell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 2018, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conducted the Sustainable Timber Harvest Analysis that resulted in the 10-year Stand Exam List (SEL). The SEL includes stands that will be assessed for potential management action from 2021 to 2030, but the location, number, and impact of stands actually harvested remains unknown. This study sought to use modeling to assess potential habitat changes from the SEL for five threatened, endangered, or special concern wildlife species. Three simulation scenarios captured the potential range of harvest from the SEL, and the Wildlife Habitat Indicator for Native Genera and Species model assessed associated habitat changes. The most realistic simulation scenario resulted in statistically insignificant habitat changes of less than ±6%, while two scenarios providing the upper and lower extremes of harvest resulted in statistically significant changes for one species each. Scenarios that resulted in less harvest and more mature forests benefited the five species, reflecting their habitat preferences. The tempering of habitat change values in the most realistic simulation scenario provides evidence for forest management tradeoffs between different wildlife species habitat requirements, as well as other forest resource management objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number216
JournalForests
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the MN DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife, the MN DNR Nongame Wildlife Program, and the Wildlife Restoration (Pittman-Robertson) Program under MN DNR Grant 1929B SWIFT #181821. This work was also supported by the Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, McIntire Stennis capacity grant #1020087. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Endangered
  • Simulations
  • Special concern species
  • Sustainable harvest
  • Threatened
  • Wildlife habitat modeling

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