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A land manager's guide to conserving habitat for forest birds in ...

A land manager's guide to conserving habitat for forest birds in ...

Mid-tolerant Young forest — Photo: OMNR Shade and moisture conditions shape tree species composition Tree species differ in their abilities to survive under varying moisture and light conditions. Some can tolerate extreme dryness (drought) and others, excessive flooding. Some species survive while living in the shady conditions of a mature forest floor. These trees are considered to be shade-tolerant. The Shade and Moisture Tolerance of Various Tree Species table (opposite) are used to classify southern Ontario tree species based on their ability to adapt to these environmental conditions. This will help guide land managers in deciding what silviculture system will be most appropriate for a given mix of species. Shade and Moisture Tolerance of Various Tree Species Shade-tolerant Species (Climax – Late Successional) Shade tolerance Tolerant Shade-tolerant (low light) Shade-tolerant species can germinate and survive in the shade of the forest canopy. The most tolerant species can live as long as 40 years in the shade. When an opening is created from a tree dying or falling, the small shade-tolerant trees will quickly grow up to fill the gap and take their place in the canopy. Forests canopies comprised of primarily large shade-tolerant species such as sugar maple, beech, and hemlock are often considered to be at the end stage of succession known as the climax or late successional forest. Mid- Tolerant Species Mid-tolerant (medium light) Mid-tolerant species can germinate in shady conditions but will die within 1–3 years if they do not receive some light, for at least part of the day. Mid-tolerant species such as oaks and white pine evolved from a history of heavy ground fires. These fires kill all the low shade and some of the canopy trees to provide a partially shaded environment. During Ontario’s settlement phase the heavy disturbances associated with land clearing provided ideal conditions for many mid-tolerant forests to become established. However, the past 70 years of minor disturbance (such as single tree selection) and fire suppression has allowed succession to continue towards more tolerant species, favouring the replacement of mid-tolerant canopy trees in many remnant woodlots. Intolerant Species (Pioneer – Early Successional) Shade-intolerant (full sunlight) Intolerant tree species need full sunlight to germinate and survive. In open conditions they out-compete both the tolerant and midtolerant trees. Species like white birch, red pine, trembling aspen, tulip tree, and sassafras are considered to be intolerant species. These species are colonizers or early successional species that dominate even-aged forests where large disturbances such as fires or big wind events have occurred. Artwork: Peter Burke Intolerant full sunlight 36 Forest Harvesting

Tree species Additional Carolinian species Moisture tolerance sugar maple, American beech, ironwood American chestnut, big shellbark hickory, rock elm, pignut hickory, UPLAND eastern hemlock, balsam fir, red spruce black maple, blue beech, pawpaw BOTH black spruce black gum, slippery (red) elm, red mulberry LOWLAND white ash, red oak, white oak, white pine black oak, Ohio buckeye UPLAND red maple, white spruce, American (white) elm, white cedar, butternut, bur oak, bitternut hickory, basswood shagbark hickory, cucumber tree, hackberry BOTH silver maple, Freeman maple, yellow birch, red (green) ash, swamp white oak, sycamore, blue ash, pumpkin ash, LOWLAND black cherry, red pine, jack pine, pitch pine, red cedar, Chinquapin oak tulip tree, sassafras, northern pin oak, honey locust, dwarf hackberry, dwarf, Chinquapin oak UPLAND trembling aspen, large-tooth aspen, cottonwood, white birch flowering dogwood, black walnut, common hop-tree BOTH black ash, balsam poplar, tamarack, black willow Shumard oak, pin oak, Kentucky coffee tree LOWLAND Forest Harvesting 37

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