Long term effects of electrical right-of-way vegetation management on floral and faunal communities

2021, Carolyn G. Mahan, PhD, Pennsylvania State University

I propose to continue, replicate, and expand the research and outreach efforts on the effects of right-of-way maintenance on floral and faunal communities. In particular, the research will focus on understanding wildlife response through a treatment cycle. In general, rights-of-way are treated every 4-6 years. Data from our 2018-2020 field seasons indicates that wildlife communities (plants, bird, snakes, and ground beetle abundance and species richness) and processes (nest predation rates) differ within a field season ( e.g, May versus August) as well as through the vegetation treatment cycle. In addition, we note that IVM supports native wildlife communities on narrow transmission lines (SGL 103) as well as on wider transmission lines (SGLE 33, GLR&D). During 2021-2024, my research team will continue to evaluate floral and faunal response to ROW management at our 3 study sites: SGL 33, GLR&D, and SGL 103. We will continue to monitor native vegetation and breeding birds and complete our survey of ground beetles. We believe we may have one of the longest continuous data sets on breeding birds (abundance and productivity) in the Appalachians. We will add an examination of Lepidopteran diversity (using developed and tested sampling techniques) to our research design at all three research locations. This Lepidopteran work will build upon work first conducted by Yahner in 1998 (see Yahner 2004) and will expand to include moths and a voucher collection for better estimates of species diversity at all study sites. All research will be conducted in cooperation with the Center for Pollinator Research and the Frost Entomological
Museum at The Pennsylvania State University. We will continue to work with The Pennsylvania State University to revise, update, and review our website
(https://sites.psu.edu/transmissionlineecology/). Finally, we will work with WPSU to script, film, edit, and produce video content for distribution that promotes our research approach, partnerships, and findings.

Year: 2021

Funding Duration: 1 year

Grant Program: Sponsored Grant

Grant Title: Long term effects of electrical right-of-way vegetation management on floral and faunal communities

Researcher: Dr. Carolyn G. Mahan

Key words:

Peer Reviewed Publications from Grant:

General Audience/Trade Publications:

Professional Presentations:


For more information on this project, contact the researcher via TREE Fund at treefund@treefund.org.