What Do the Scientists Say About Group Selection?

The California Spotted Owl Technical Report in discussing potential long-term strategies suggested that "one kind of silviculture that may have promise for production and long-term maintenance of owl habitat is a multi-aged mosaic of small, even-aged groups or aggregations. Groups would generally range in size from about 2 acres down to a quarter-acre, or possibly less. Probably this type of structure best approximates presettlement stand structures, thus warranting serious consideration. Openings would be sufficiently large to permit regeneration of shade-intolerant as well as shade-tolerant species. Multiple size classes in general would be separated horizontally rather than vertically, but in suficient proximitiy to satisfy this attribute of suitable owl habitat. The horizontal separation of size classes also would confer some degree of resistance to crown fires.

Verner, Jared; McKelvey, Keven S.; Noon, Barry R.; Gutierrez, R. J.; Gould, Gordon, I., Jr.; Beck, Thomas W., Technical Coordinators. 1992. The California Spotted Owl: A Technical Assessment of Its Current Status. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTW-133. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 285 p.

This report is based on the Final Report submitted on May 8, 1992 by the Technical Assessment Team to the Interagency Steering Committee for the California Spotted Owl Assessment. The 13 chapters cover the assessment of the current status o fhe California spotted owl, its biology and habitat use, and forest where the subspecies occurs in the Sierra Nevada and southern California. The report suggests the direction of future inventories and research, identifies projected trends in habitat, and offers guidelines and recommendations for management of the California spotted owl.