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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 ...

Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms endangered — any native species, with a small or dwindling population at imminent risk of extinction throughout all or a portion of its range. environment — the totality of surrounding conditions. All the living and non-living things surrounding and affecting an organism, or group of organisms. ephemeral — existing for a short period of time. even-aged management — the removal of all mature trees in a single cut (i.e., clear cut) or with multiple partial cuts (i.e., shelterwood) used to create a stand of mature trees of essentially all the same age. evolutionary history — the changes in genetic makeup or inherited traits that a particular species or population of organisms has undergone over hundreds (or more) generations. exotic — an organism that is not native to a particular area, introduced as a direct or indirect result of human activity. fauna — all the animal life of a particular region. fine filter approach — an approach to maintaining biodiversity that is directed toward particular habitats, or single rare or specialized species of concern that might fall through the coarse filter. These habitats may be critical in some way and the species threatened or endangered. fledge — the stage in a young bird’s life when the feathers and wing muscles are sufficiently developed for flight. The term used to describe the behaviour by which a nestling bird leaves the nest under its own power. fledgling — a young bird that has successfully left (or fledged) from the nest. flora — all the plant life of a particular region. foliage gleaners — species that feed by picking insect prey, such as caterpillars and aphids, off the surfaces of leaves. food chain — a series of plants and animals linked by their feeding relationships. Food chains are often expressed as hierarchies where, each organism at one level uses the next, lower members in the sequence as a food source. One example of a simple food chain relationship would be a sugar maple sapling eaten by a white-tailed deer, and then a wolf eats the deer. foraging guild — a group of birds (see guild) that forage in similar habitat or a similar manner (e.g., canopy foragers, or bark gleaners). forest interior — the portion of the forest deep in the woodlot, uninfluenced by edge effects. This is typically expressed as forest habitat more than 100 m from any hard edge. forest interior specialist — any species associated with, or a specialist of, habitat away from any forest edge. forest management — a range of human activities that affect forest ecosystems. This includes harvesting, replanting, fire prevention, road building, etc. forest type — group of forested areas or stands of similar composition (species, age, height, and stocking) which differentiates it from other such groups. The dominant forest type in southern Ontario is sugar maple-beech. forester — a person engaged in the profession of forestry. Foresters engage in timber harvesting, ecological restoration, and management of protected areas. They manage forests to provide a variety of benefits for humans including direct extraction of raw material, recreation, conservation, hunting, aesthetics, as well as the less tangible benefits such as clean air or improved water. forestry — the art, science, and practice of managing and using for human benefit the natural resources that occur on forested lands. fragmentation — the process where large continuous habitat patches are broken up into smaller remnants of various sizes and shapes. Forests fragmentation results from the loss and subdivision of forest habitat by agriculture, roads, utility corridors, and urban areas. gap dependent — any species that relies on canopy openings or gaps, such as those created during group selection harvesting, for all or part of its life cycle (typically breeding). generalist — see habitat generalist. germination — the process whereby seeds or spores sprout and begin to grow. girdling — the deliberate or accidental process of removing a strip of bark around the circumference of a tree, causing its death. good forestry practices — the proper implementation of harvest, renewal, and maintenance activities known to be appropriate for the forest and environmental conditions under which they are being applied. These practices minimize any detriments to forest values, including significant ecosystems, important fish and wildlife habitat, soil and water quality and quantity, forest productivity and health, aesthetics, and recreational opportunities of the landscape (Forestry Act 1990). Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest — a zone of transition forest between the conifer-dominated habitat of the boreal forest and the deciduous Carolinian forest to the south. Great Lakes- St. Lawrence region is centered on the Great Lakes, and distinguished by the presence of eastern white and red pine, eastern hemlock, and yellow birch. greenhouse effect — the process by which human activities have elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) in the atmosphere, causing the temperatures near the surface of the earth to rise. greenhouse gases — gases in the atmosphere that trap the sun’s energy and thereby contribute to rising surface temperatures. The main greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change is carbon dioxide, a by-product of burning fossil fuels. Other greenhouse gases include methane (from agricultural sources) and nitrous oxide (from industrial sources). 92 Glossary of Terms

ground cover — the layer of vegetation closest to the ground, typically less than half a metre in height. This includes herbaceous plants, mosses, and fungi that carpet the forest floor. group selection — a method of uneven-aged forest harvesting in which small patches, or groups, of trees are removed. This creates a patchwork of openings within the forest, where young trees can grow. It favours mid-tolerant species that need some direct sunlight to thrive, and can be used in conjunction with single tree selection between the gaps. growing stock — the volume (expressed in metres cubed [m 3 ]) of all live trees in a given area. guidelines — an established practice or behaviour that should be implemented. Although guidelines are generally voluntary, the implication is that practitioners will use these concepts and principles in meeting their resource objectives. guild — a group of species that use similar resources in the same way but are not necessarily closely related. Typically, birds form guilds based on foraging, nesting, diet, or habitat preferences. habitat — the place where an organism lives and/or the conditions of that environment including the soil, vegetation, water, and food. habitat generalist/generalist — a species that is able to thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions and can make use of a variety of different resources. habitat specialist/specialist — any species that can only thrive in a narrow range of environmental or habitat conditions or has a limited diet. Specialists are sensitive to environmental changes that influence that resource or habitat type. hard edge — a distinct boundary between two very dissimilar habitat types. A woodlot bordered by an agriculture field or road are examples of typical hard edges. hard mast — nuts produced by tree species such as oak and beech that are consumed by wildlife. hardwoods — broad-leaved deciduous trees that generally (but not always) have a relatively high density and hardness. Ash, hickory, and oak are some of the most prominent hardwoods. Some hardwoods have softer wood than softwood (conifer) species. harvesting — the practice of cutting and removing trees from a forest. healthy forest — a forest whose structure, composition, and function allows for the maintenance of biodiversity and ecological processes over time. heartwood — the central core of a tree, which is made up of dense, dead wood and provides strength to the tree. It usually differs from the outer wood layer (sapwood) by its darker colour. heavy cut (heavy partial harvest) — any type of harvesting, such as diameter-limit or high grading, that results in a residual basal area of less than19 m 2 /ha, and/or removes more than onethird of the basal area in a single harvest. hectare — a unit of area 100 metres by 100 metres in size, or 10 000 m 2 . herbaceous plant — any plant with non-woody stems and leaves that die at the end of the growing season to the soil level. An herbaceous plant may be annual, biennial, or perennial. herbicide — a chemical used to kill or control vegetation such as brush, weeds, and competing or undesirable trees. high grading — a form of partial harvesting that selects only the best trees from a stand (the straightest, highest quality, and most merchantable trees). Over time, this leads to a residual forest of deformed and poor quality trees of low economic value. host — an animal or plant that nourishes and supports a parasite. Host species do not benefit and are often harmed by the association. Birds, such as the Wood Thrush, that unsuspectingly raise Brown-headed Cowbird young, are typical Brown-headed Cowbird hosts, that suffer reduced productivity or nest success. hydrology — the science dealing with the properties, distribution, use, and conservation of water on the surface of the land, in the soil and underlying rocks, and in the atmosphere. intermediate storey — the forest layer just below the canopy, also referred to as mid-canopy and consists of tree saplings, small trees, and tall shrubs. Trees in this layer usually range in size from 10–20 cm in dbh, 5–15 metres in height, and 10–60 years in age. Growth of saplings in this layer will often slow until a canopy opening occurs, releasing trees to grow rapidly upward. invasive — a plant or animal, typically not native to an area, that tends to spread and then dominate the new area. inventory — a survey of a forest area to determine such data as tree age, density, condition, species composition, etc. for specific purposes such as planning, management, or harvesting. isolation — a measure of the distance between patches of similar habitat, often used to describe how close a woodlot is to the nearest woodlot of a particular size. juvenile — a young bird that has left the nest but has not reached its adult form, sexual maturity, or size. Songbirds are juveniles for the first year of life. landbird — the species of birds that occupy terrestrial habitats for most of their life cycle. Some landbirds are year round residents, some are short distance migrants, and others are long distance migrants. landings — an open, flat area where logs are collected for loading onto trucks to be transported to a mill. landscape — the visible features of a specific geographic area, including physical elements such as landforms, living elements of flora and fauna, and human elements, for instance human activity or the built environment. Glossary of Terms 93

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