Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 2153–2164 | Cite as

Postfire forest management and Mediterranean birds: the importance of the logging remnants

  • Sergi Herrando
  • Lluís Brotons
  • Santi Guallar
  • Sergi Sales
  • Pere Pons
Original Paper


Fire is a crucial element needed to understand the biodiversity patterns of forest landscapes in most Mediterranean countries. However, little is known about the quantitative responses of bird communities to postfire forest management in this region, in which the logging of burnt trees is a common practice. Several studies have already described the negative effects of felling burnt trees on birds but none has focussed on the remaining wood remnants. We investigated this question in a large burnt area located in north-east Iberian Peninsula. The amount of logging remnants left on the ground had positive linear and negative quadratic relationships with the indices of bird abundance and bird richness. The results obtained at a species level were similar, since 36% of the most abundant species revealed the same type of relations with logging remnants, whereas none showed an opposite pattern. Thus, birds in general seem to be positively influenced by the amount of wood remnants left on the ground to a certain point, from which the relation reverses. The results of this study indicate that a moderate amount of wood remnants left on the ground may be positive for the overall bird community. We suggest that management plays a role in the recovery of the bird community after fire and, therefore, biodiversity criteria should be incorporated in the guidelines driving postfire actions.


Logging remnants Avian diversity Burnt areas Forestry Mediterranean landscapes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergi Herrando
    • 1
    • 4
  • Lluís Brotons
    • 1
    • 2
  • Santi Guallar
    • 1
  • Sergi Sales
    • 1
  • Pere Pons
    • 3
  1. 1.Catalan Ornithological InstituteMuseu de Ciències Naturals de la CiutadellaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya, Àrea de BiodiversitatSolsonaSpain
  3. 3.Departament de Ciències AmbientalsUniversitat de GironaGironaSpain
  4. 4.Catalan Ornithological Institute, Technical OfficeBarcelonaSpain

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