Forest management and wildlife in forested wetlands of the southern Appalachians
The southern Appalachian region contains a variety of forested wetland types. Among the more prevalent types are riparian and bottomland hardwood forests. In this paper we discuss the temporal and spatial changes in wildlife diversity and abundance often associated with forest management practices within bottomland and riparian forests. Common silvicultural practices within the southern Appalachians are diameter-limit cutting, clearcutting, single-tree selection, and group selection. These practices alter forest composition, structure, and spatial hetereogeneity, thereby changing the composition, abundance, and diversity of wildlife communities. They also can impact special habitat features such as snags, den trees, and dead and down woody material. The value of wetland forests as habitat also is affected by characteristics of adjacent habitats. More research is needed to fully understand the impacts of forest management in wetlands of the southern Appalachians.
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