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Maintaining or creating inclusions of overstory that are distinct from the surrounding forest type can greatly increase the habitat diversity of otherwise uniform areas.
Overstory inclusions are small patches of forest distinct from the surrounding forest but too small to be mapped or treated separately. A patch of hemlock in a pure hardwood stand, or patches of oak in a pine stand would qualify as examples of overstory inclusions.
Inclusions provide feeding, nesting, and shelter that may not occur in continuous stands of a single forest type. More than 25 percent of New England's bird species and a lesser number of mammals use overstory inclusions in one way or another. Deer, moose and some furbearers are attracted to softwood inclusions within hardwood stands. Such inclusions may be important for facilitating movement of these animals during deep snow conditions.
Inclusions may range in size from just a few trees to more than an acre. The value of a minor inclusion increases in proportion to how different it is from the surrounding forest. Even a single softwood tree such as a hemlock, large-crowned spruce, or a large white pine within a pure hardwood stand, can greatly increase the variety of available habitats.
Maintain and regenerate inclusions of softwood cover in predominantly hardwood stands and inclusions of hardwood cover in predominantly softwood stands.
6.1 Mast; 6.7 Aspen Management; 6.9 Deer Wintering Areas; 7.2 Seeps; 7.3 Vernal Pools.
DeGraaf, R., M. Yamasaki, W. B. Leak, and A. M. Lester. 2006. Technical Guide to Forest Wildlife Habitat Management in New England. University of Vermont Press and University Press of New England, Burlington, Vt. 305 p.
Hunter, M.L., Jr.1990. Wildlife, Forests and Forestry: Principles of Managing Forests for Biological Diversity. Prentice-Hall, New York, N.Y. 370 p.[an error occurred while processing this directive]