Early avian functional assemblages after fire, clearcutting, and post-fire salvage logging in North American forests
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Fidèle Bognounou; Lisa A. Venier; Steven L. Van Wilgenburg; Isabelle Aubin; Jean-Noel Candau; Andre Arsenault; Christian Hébert; Jacques Ibarzabal; Samantha J. Song; Louis De Grandpré
Publication Year: 2021

Cataloging Information

  • avian assemblages
  • biodiversity
  • bird communities
  • clearcut
  • climate change
  • post-fire salvage logging
  • severe wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: April 2, 2021
FRAMES Record Number: 63040


Increased demand for timber, the reduction in the available timber resources, and more frequent and severe forest fires under a changing climate have increased the use of salvage logging in North American forests despite concerns regarding impacts on biodiversity and long-term forest productivity. We aimed to complement previous approaches that used bird species richness or individual abundance in salvage-logged habitats to assess the sustainability of this practice. We looked for commonalities in the taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic components of bird assemblages among these three post-disturbance habitats across a broad geographic range. We compiled six North American datasets selected from primary and grey literature that documented species composition of avian assemblages in habitats after recent fire, post-fire salvage logging, and traditional logging. Our results revealed contrasting patterns of bird trait assemblage among burned, post-fire salvage, and traditionally logged habitats. In salvage-logged habitats, taxonomic diversity, functional diversity, and functional and phylogenetic redundancy were significantly lower than in both burned and traditionally logged habitats. The frequency of insectivores was significantly lower after salvage logging than after both fire and traditional logging. These findings suggest that cumulative disturbances have a negative effect on early assembly of bird communities. The outcomes of this study encourage further assessments, at landscape level, of salvage logging intensity, burn size, and fire severity on bird functional structure to better plan for their conservation.

Online Link(s):
Bognounou, Fidèle; Venier, Lisa A.; Van Wilgenburg, Steven L.; Aubin, Isabelle; Candau, Jean-Noel; Arsenault, Andre; Hebert, Christian; Ibarzabal, Jaques; Song, Samantha J.; De Grandpré, Louis. 2021. Early avian functional assemblages after fire, clearcutting, and post-fire salvage logging in North American forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 51(3):393-407.