Concurrent Session: Wetland science potpourri
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Thu
Title: Managing the matrix: Managing for wildlife habitat across uplands and wetlands
Abstract: Since the 1970's, a wide range of bird species have experienced population declines. Landscapes with a matrix of uplands and wetlands present unique opportunities for habitat management for a collection of these birds because their complex lifecycles result in them utilizing both uplands and wetlands. While habitat characteristics for many bird species are becoming increasingly known through research, specific alteration of habitats to favor these species using both commercial and non-commercial site treatments are still not widely practiced. I will present some basic habitat requirements for a set of species that utilize these matrix habitats and share how to implement site prescriptions to create conditions that favor these species. I will discuss species for which wetlands play an important role in their lifecycle but for which uplands are also essential, including veery, Canada warbler, woodcock, Acadian flycatcher, and Louisiana water thrush. Example site treatments include coppice for young forest creation, micro-edge, group selection harvests, riparian reserves, and reserve tree designation. Two additional benefits of these site treatments are that the majority of game species in Wisconsin also benefit from many of the same site manipulations and that many other wetland species (both flora and fauna) are favored by these treatments. Finally, I will present a case study where this approach was applied across a 200-acre public land parcel with site treatments including commercial timber harvest using coppice, group selection, and shelterwood and non-commercial treatments of woody invasive control, native seeding, and forestry mulching.
Bio: Mike Demchik is a Professor of Forestry at UW-Stevens Point. He has been involved in forestry, restoration, and habitat work since about age 4. He has worked in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia in a wide range of natural resources jobs.