Roost tree selection by northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) maternity colonies following prescribed fire in a Central Appalachian Mountains hardwood forest
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Forest Ecology and Management. 258: 233-242.
Following decades of fire suppression in eastern forests, prescribed fire as a tool to restore or enhance oak (Quercus spp.)-dominated communities is gaining widespread acceptance in the Appalachian Mountains and elsewhere. However, the interactions of fire with biotic components such as wildlife that might be impacted by prescribed fire are poorly documented. For tree-roosting bats, fire can enhance roosting habitat by creating snags and increasing solar radiation at existing roosts. In 2007 and 2008, we examined roost selection of forest-interior dwelling northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) maternity colonies in stands treated with prescribed fire (hereafter, fire) and in unburned (hereafter, control) stands on the Fernow Experimental Forest, West Virginia. Using radio telemetry, we tracked 36 female northern myotis to 69 roost trees; 25 in the fire treatment and 44 in the control treatment. Using logistic regression and an information-theoretic model selection approach, we determined that within the fire treatment, northern myotis maternity colonies were more likely to use cavity trees that were smaller in diameter, higher in crown class, and located in stands with lower basal area, gentler slopes, and higher percentage of fire-killed stems than random trees.
Keywordsbats; northern myotis; Myotis septentrionalis; prescribed fire; roost selection; West Virginia
Johnson, Joshua B.; Edwards, John W.; Ford, W. Mark; Gates, J. Edward. 2009. Roost tree selection by northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) maternity colonies following prescribed fire in a Central Appalachian Mountains hardwood forest. Forest Ecology and Management. 258: 233-242. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2009.04.008.