Effects of Fuel Treatment on Landbirds
Copyright © 2011 Ecostudies Institute
|A nonprofit organization committed to ecological research and conservation
Hindering development of a fire management strategy for the pine rocklands is the lack of knowledge
regarding the relationship between wildlife populations and fuel management practices designed to
reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. Ecostudies Institute received funding from the Joint Fire Sciences
Program to address this issue by implementing the first comprehensive study of the ecological effects of
fuels treatment in pine rocklands.
Specific objectives of this study were to:
1) Determine the large-scale patterns of relationship between fire management, hydrology, and
abundance and distribution of breeding and wintering landbirds
2) Investigate the role of fire in snag dynamics.
Fire has shaped many south Florida ecosystems, yet perhaps
in no other ecosystem is fire as important as in the pine
rocklands. Pine rocklands are a globally imperiled ecosystem
composed of a unique combination of limestone substrate and
subtropical forest, and are found only in south Florida, the
Bahamas and Cuba. The pine rocklands have been reduced in
size and degraded by altered fire and hydrological regimes.
Changes in the frequency, intensity, and extent of fire have
had especially detrimental effects on this ecosystem.
Preserving this ecosystems rich biological diversity requires
the development of ecologically sound fire management
practices that reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire while
maintaining the biological conditions upon which the plants
and animals of this ecosystem depend.
By involving collaborators from multiple levels of government, this project
will facilitate greater communication that is currently lacking among
federal, state, and local land management agencies regarding fire
management practices. Fieldwork was conducted in Everglades National
Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida Panther National Wildlife
Refuge, and on lands administered by Miami-Dade County Department of
Parks and Recreation. Our project partners include the National Park
Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Miami-Dade County.
For more information about the status of our work on the effects of fuel treatments on birds, please
contact Gary Slater or John Lloyd.
Slater, G. L. 2009. Effects of fuel treatments and wildfire on the avifauna of the pine rockland
ecosystem in southern Florida. Final report to Everglades National Park. PDF
Lloyd, J. D., G. L. Slater, and J. R. Snyder. 2012. The role of fire-return interval and season of burn in snag dynamics in
a south Florida slash pine forest. Fire Ecology 8:18-31. PDF
Lloyd, J. D., and G. L. Slater. 2012. Fire history and the structure of pine-rockland bird assemblages. Natural Areas
Journal 32:247-259. PDF
Lloyd, J. D. and G. L. Slater. 2011. Influence of fire and water regimes on pineland bird assemblages. Natural Areas
Journal 31:270-282. PDF