Modelling bird habitat relationships in pine plantations of Colombia
The effects of four forest management options on habitat quality for six bird species were predicted over time and through space in a commercial forestry region in Colombia. A forest growth model for Pinus patula plantations in Colombia was developed to simulate dynamics of seven parameters during a rotation, and evaluate changes in structure under the proposed forest management options. Habitat suitability index (HSI) models were created for six bird species that represent different life histories and habitat requirements. The species selected were Chamaepetes goudoutii (Sickled-Winged Guan), Colibri coruscans (Sparkling Violetar), Myioborus miniatus (Slate-Throated Whitestart), Trogon collaris (Collared Trogon), Piculus rivolii (Crimson-Mantled Woodpecker), and Cyanocorax yncas (Inca Jay). These bird species were present in the pAtula pine plantations and surrounding natural forest in the forest management area. Evaluation of habitat quality for each bird species was assessed over a rotation based on Geographic Information System (GIS), allowed temporal and spatial results. Intensive forest management options included prunings, thinnings and extended rotation, provide the best pulpwood and sawtimber pine quality for economic benefits, as well the best habitat quality for the selected species. The results show that HSI models for the selected bird species are sensitive in order of importance to changes in vertical stratification (VST), diameter at breast height (DBH), and height (HGT). The HSI models were not sensitive to changes in pines per hectare (PPH). The selected bird species are more likely to have better habitat suitability in forestry commercial areas that are composed of several small stands with the minimal area required for the specie, than in commercial areas composed of a few large stands.