Group Selection Study - 130-503

Description: This project consists of a suite of studies designed to evaluate the impacts of selection system silviculture on hardwood forest stand structures, tree regeneration and the dynamics of bird and insect communities. The studies are taking place on 22 different sites within Algonquin Provincial Park. The overall project has two main components. The retrospective component will compare single-tree selection stands at different times since harvest to similar uncut stands, in order to evaluate the time and the ability of a stand to recover to reference conditions and to evaluate stand quality and tree regeneration success. The experimental component will use pre and post-harvest data to compare intensive group selection (20 % land area in gaps) to the current approach of applying group selection, i.e. harvesting a few gaps in ecologically appropriate places within an otherwise normal single-tree selection cut.  The group selection experiment will evaluate whether hardwood tree species, with moderate tolerance to shade, regenerate and grow better in these gaps. Within both studies, data will be collected on vegetation, downed wood, nest habitat, birds, cavity-dependant wildlife, insects, and economics.  Changes to biodiversity and productivity across these indicators will be analyzed, and current guidelines will be evaluated.


The Project Team: Ken Elliott and Dawn Burke, OMNR, Erica Nol, Trent University



Burke, D.M., Elliot, K.A., Holmes, S.B. and D. Bradley. 2008. The effects of partial harvest on the understory vegetation of southern Ontario woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 255: 2204-2212.

Falk, K.J., Burke, D.M., Elliot, K.A. and S.B. Holmes. 2008. Effects of single-tree and group selection harvesting on the diversity and abundance of spring forest herbs in deciduous forests in southwestern Ontario. Forest Ecology and Management 255: 2486–2494.

Tozer, D.C., Nol, E., Burke, D.M., Elliot, K.A. and Falk, K.J. 2009. Predation by bears on woodpeckker nests: Are nestling begging and habitat choice risky business? The Auk 126: 300-309.

Falk, K.J., Elliot, K.A., Burke, D.M. and E. Nol. 2010. Early seedling response to group selection harvesting in a northern hardwood forest. For. Chron. 86: 100-109.

Tozer, D.C., Burke, D.M., Nol, E. and K.A. Elliot. 2010. Short-term effects of group-selection harvesting on breeding birds in a northern hardwood forest. Forest Ecology and Management 259: 1522–1529.


Technical Notes/ Reports:

130-503 - Burke, D., Elliott, K., Falk, K. and T. Piraino. 2011. A land manager’s guide to conserving habitat for forest birds in southern Ontario. Ontario, Canada: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Science and Information Resources Division, Southern Science and Information.

Tree Tips:

Tree Tip for FRP Project no. 130-503: Short Term Effects on Birds, Feb 2012  

Tree Tip for FRP Project no. 130-503: Short Term Effects Mid-Tolerant Regeneration, Feb 2012



Evaluating Different Group Selection Processes in Traditionally Single Tree Selection Forests

Partial Harvesting Impacts on Hardwood Forests: Vegetation, Cavity Nesters, Songbirds and Insects 

Effects of Group Selection Harvesting on the Physiological Response and Nesting Success of Ovenbirds


Status Reports:

Group Selection Study Progress Report (2007)

Status Report (2007-2008)

Project Work Report (2007-2008)

Status Report (2008-2009)

Financial Summary (2008-2009)

Status Report (2009-2010)

Status Report (2010-2011)


For Additional Information Contact:

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