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The effects of fire on invasive plant species and the woodpecker community in the Black Hills, South Dakota. (Social Science, Environmental, Field Biology Poster Session 02:00 PM-03:00 PM).

BOARD 17

Conservation biology now recognizes exotic species as second only to habitat destruction in the loss of biodiversity because of their contribution to native species extinction. Natural disturbance factors can facilitate the Invasion and establishment of non-native species. A disturbance such as fire, which can alter the vegetation structure, could have a major affect on the cavity nesting bird community, an important part of the forest community. Research was conducted in the Black Hills of South Dakota during July and August 2002 to compare invasive plant species coverage and abundance with evidence of woodpecker presence at sixty random points in three different treatment types: new burn, old burn, and unburned. It was hypothesized that disturbed areas would have a higher abundance of invasive plant species than undisturbed habitat, and that areas containing invasive plant species would have a negative effect on woodpecker presence. Data reveals that invasive plant species coverage relative to total plant coverage was significantly greater in the new burn treatment relative to the old and unburned treatments (0 =0.00242 [+ or -] 0.00358 vs. 0.000123 [+ or -] 0.000303 and 0.00003924 [+ or -] 0.000119; n=20,20,20; F=8.52, d.f.=57; p=0.05). However, difference in invasive species coverage did not appear to affect woodpecker presence. These results suggest that newly burned areas are indicative of greater invasive plant species abundance and coverage than unburned areas, but it appears that the presence of invasive plant species does not have an adverse affect on woodpecker presence.

MARIAH J. HOLDEN MHOLDEN@MUSKINGUM.EDU AND SHIRLEY J. ATKINSON SHIRLEYA@MUSKINGUM.EDU, CONSERVATION SCIENCE PROGRAM, MUSKINGUM COLLEGE, 163 STORMONT ST., NEW CONCORD OH 43762
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Author:Holden, Mariah J.; Atkinson, Shirley J.
Publication:The Ohio Journal of Science
Article Type:Abstract
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Words:279
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