Coastal oak woodland, montane hardwood; 10 to 24 percent canopy cover
Oak Cover/Forestry Assessment:
Oak volume ranges from 35 to 250 cubic feet per acre and growth ranges from 17 to 50 cubic feet every 10 years. These areas are not good locations for firewood harvests due to very open stocking. Regeneration concerns are not as pronounced in live oak stands due to rapid resprouting in most areas of the state.
These areas may offer only limited opportunities for hunt clubs in their current condition because of low tree cover. 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 mule and black-tailed deer and turkeys. The presence of sprouting live oaks allows greater latitude in quail management than deciduous oaks with similar cover.
Wildlife Diversity Assessment:
These open live oak savannah stands contain both grassland and woodland wildlife species. In general, the habitat is good for open grassland species such as western meadowlark and western kingbirds, and marginal for woodland species such as Pacific-slope flycatcher and western gray squirrels. 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 18 amphibian species, 35 reptile species, 74 mammal species, and 135 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 7 amphibian species, 33 reptiles, 38 mammals, and 101 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 2,700 pounds per acre with a range from 1,800 to 4,000 pounds. Oak canopy in these lightly stocked areas may enhance forage production in low rainfall areas or during drought years. These low canopy levels have only minimal impact on forage production in higher rainfall zones, although thistles and other undesirable plants may occasionally occur under the tree canopy. 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.