Valley oak woodland; 10 to 24 percent canopy cover
Oak Cover/Forestry Assessment:
Oak volume ranges from 40 to 340 cubic feet per acre. Growth ranges from 17 to 80 cubic over 10 years. The canopy in these open valley oak savannahs needs to be maintained. These areas are poor candidates for any harvest activity. Managers should encourage the recruitment of young seedlings to sapling size through management activities.
These areas offer only limited opportunities for hunt clubs in their current condition because of low shrub cover and acorn production. Medium populations of quail can be expected, which can be improved by providing additional water and cover with brush piles. It may be desirable to increase cover, if feasible, to improve habitat for deer and turkeys.
Wildlife Diversity Assessment:
These open valley oak savannah stands contain both grassland and woodland wildlife species. In general, the habitat is good for open grassland and open woodland species such as western meadowlark, and marginal for woodland species such as Pacific-slope flycatcher. The presence of more complex habitats, through the presence of habitat elements such riparian zones, snags, trees with cavities, and large woody debris, has an important effect on biodiversity. There are 19 amphibian species, 32 reptile species, 72 mammal species, and 132 bird species which are predicted to occur by CWHR on the most diverse habitats in these stands. If there are no riparian zones or sources of water, no snags or cavity trees, and no large woody debris or brush piles on the site, the number of vertebrate wildlife species predicted to occur on these habitats falls to 8 amphibian species, 30 reptiles, 38 mammals, and 99 bird species. This points to the importance of maintaining diversity in the habitat elements present in the stand to provide for the highest possible diversity of wildlife species.
Average forage production capability is 3,500 pounds per acre with a range from 2,000 to 5,000 pounds. In low rainfall areas, the presence of scattered trees has been found to increase overall range forage production. Thistles and other undesirable plants may occur under the tree canopy, although this is not typical. Potential for range improvement through seeding, fertilization, and grazing management may increase productivity where production is currently at the lower end of the scale and available soil and soil moisture is not limiting.