Year of Publication

2020

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forest and Natural Resource Sciences (MSFNRS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Forestry and Natural Resources

First Advisor

Dr. Michael J. Lacki

Abstract

The impact of shelterwood and patch cuts harvests on bat communities was tested at three sites in Eastern Kentucky. Shelterwood harvests had 50% of the basal area and understory removed to create a uniform spacing of residual trees. Patch cuts had 1-hectare circular openings created to remove 50% of the basal area creating an aggregated spacing of residual trees. Acoustic detectors were deployed to assess activity levels pre-harvest. Sites were then sampled from 1 – 2 years post-harvest to determine differences. Pre-harvest data revealed little acoustic activity for the Myotis spp. at two sites. The remaining site had high activity of Myotis pre-harvest. All sites saw a large increase in bat activity post-harvest. Activity of low-frequency and mid-frequency bats increased in response to the harvests. Big brown and red bats were commonly captured within forest harvests. Tri-colored bats also captured, suggesting forest harvests could improve habitat. Myotis activity did not increase post-harvest at the site with a known population. Netting efforts revealed a remnant population of northern long-eared bats (Myotis septentrionalis). These bats were radio-tagged and tracked to day-roosts. All day roosts were in upslope habitats within 100 m of forest roads created for maintenance and logging operations.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2020.364

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