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WoodlandsRiparian, or riverside, woodlands harbor the highest density and diversity of birds of any habitat in the Northern Prairie region. The flood of 2011 flooded many of the woodland habitats along the Missouri River for more than 3 months, with potential impacts on woodland vegetation and woodland birds. Drs. Mark Dixon, Chris Merkord and David Swanson and their students have been studying the effects of the flood on cottonwood forests and bird populations along the Missouri River downstream of Ft. Randall dam since 2012, with surveys continuing during the 2014 summer. Preliminary results comparing pre- and post-flood bird populations show that bird abundances declined across most ages of riparian woodlands in 2012, but rebounded to pre-flood levels in 2013. Long-term (50-100 year) computer model projections from these data, assuming continuation of current river management strategies, suggest that the riparian forest is likely to change from cottonwood to post-cottonwood (elm, ash, hackberry, etc.) forest, as new cottonwood recruitment, even after the flood, does not keep pace with the aging and disappearance of the mature cottonwood forest. As a result, long-term population declines are projected for approximately 60% of bird species in these riparian woodlands, primarily as a result of the shift from cottonwood to post-cottonwood forests.