Cīrule, Dina; Krama, Tatjana; Krams, Ronalds; Elferts, Didzis; Kaasik, Ants; Rantala, Markus J.; Mierauskas, Pranas; Luoto, Severi; Krams, Indrikis A.
Animals normally respond to stressful environmental stimuli by releasing glucocorticoid hormones. We investigated whether baseline corticosterone (CORT), handling-induced corticosterone concentration(s), and body condition indices of members of willow tit ( Poecile montanus) groups differed while wintering in old growth forests and managed young forests in mild weather conditions and during cold spells. Willow tits spend the winter season in non-kin groups in which dominant individuals typically claim their priority to access resources, while subordinate individuals may experience greater levels of stress and higher mortality, especially during cold spells. We captured birds to measure baseline CORT and levels of handling-induced CORT secretion after 20 min of capture. Willow tits in the young forests had higher baseline CORT and a smaller increase in CORT in response to capture than individuals in the old forests. Baseline CORT was higher in females and juvenile birds compared to adult males, whereas handling-induced CORT secretion did not differ between birds of different ages. During cold spells, baseline CORT of willow tits increased and handling-induced CORT secretion decreased, especially in birds in young forests. Willow tits' survival was higher in the old forests, with dominant individuals surviving better than subordinates. Our results show that changes in CORT secretion reflect responses to habitat quality and climate harshness, indicating young managed coniferous forests as a suboptimal habitat for the willow tit.
Pérot, Aurore; Villard, Marc-André
Ecological traps and other cases of apparently maladaptive habitat selection cast doubt on the relevance of density as an indicator of habitat quality. Nevertheless, the prevalence of these phenomena remains poorly known, and density may still reflect habitat quality in most systems. We examined the relationship between density and two other parameters of habitat quality in an open-nesting passerine species: the Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla). We hypothesized that the average individual bird makes a good decision when selecting its breeding territory and that territory spacing reflects site productivity or predation risk. Therefore, we predicted that density would be positively correlated with productivity (number of young fledged per unit area). Because individual performance is sensitive to events partly determined by chance, such as nest predation, we further predicted density would be weakly correlated or uncorrelated with the proportion of territories fledging young. We collected data in 23 study sites (25 ha each), 16 of which were located in untreated mature northern hardwood forest and seven in stands partially harvested (treated) 1-7 years prior to the survey. Density explained most of the variability in productivity (R(2)= 0.73), and there was no apparent decoupling between density and productivity in treated plots. In contrast, there was no significant relationship between density and the proportion of territories fledging >or=1 young over the entire breeding season. These results suggest that density reflects habitat quality at the plot scale in this study system. To our knowledge this is one of the few studies testing the value of territory density as an indicator of habitat quality in an open-nesting bird species on the basis of a relatively large number of sizeable study plots.
Established in 2009, the Green Energy Act aims to increase the use of renewable energy sources including wind, water, solar and bioenergy in Ontario. The development of these resources is a major component of the province's plan, which aims to mitigate the contribution to climate change and to involve the Ontario's economy in the improvement of the quality of the environment. The Green Energy Act also considers as important the implementation of a coordinated provincial approval process, suggesting the integration of all Ministry requirements into a unique process during the evaluation of newly proposed renewable energy projects. The Ministry of the Environment's Renewable Energy Approval Regulation details the requirements for wind power projects involving significant natural features. Birds are an important part of Ontario's biodiversity and, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources, their habitats are considered as significant wildlife habitat (SWH). The Renewable Energy Approval Regulation and this guideline are meant to provide elements and guidance in order to protect bird SWH during the selection of a location of wind power facilities. . 27 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs.
Laura P. Ponce-Calderón Ponce-Calderón; Dante A. Rodríguez-Trejo; Beatriz C. Aguilar-Váldez; Elvia. López-Pérez
To assess the impact of different-severity wildfires on bird habitat, habitat quality was determined by analyzing the degree of richness association, abundance and diversity of bird species and vegetation structure (richness, abundance, diversity and coverage). These attributes were quantified with four sampling sites for birds and five for quadrant-centered points...
Sprague, Terry; Harrington, M. Elizabeth; Krogh, Carmen M. E.
Bird kill rate and disruption of habitat has been reported when industrial wind turbines are introduced into migratory bird paths or other environments. While the literature could be more complete regarding the documentation of negative effects on birds and bird habitats during the planning, construction, and operation of wind power projects,…
Jack Ward Thomas; Richard M. DeGraaf; Joseph C. Mawson
Songbird populations can be related to habitat components by a method that allows the simultaneous determination of habitat requirements for a variety of species . Through correlation and multiple-regression analyses, 10 bird species were studied in a suburban habitat, which was stratified according to human density. Variables used to account for bird distribution...
The Birds Directive of 1979 and the Habitats Directive of 1992 might be seen as the two major EU nature conservation directives, both protecting a habitats network throughout Europe and species. The transposition of both the Habitats and Birds Directive (HBD) into domestic national or subnational
Downard, Rebekah; Frank, Maureen; Perkins, Jennifer; Kettenring, Karin; Larese-Casanova, Mark
Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake: a guide to identification, communities, & bird habitat is a wetland plant identification guide, resulting from collaborative research efforts about Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetland conditions and bird habitat. Dr. Rebekah Downard collected dissertation field data from GSL wetlands during 2012–2015, the majority of which informed this work. Dr. Maureen Frank contributed her guide to GSL wetland vegetation and how to manage native plants as high-quality habitat f...
Study conducted in the forested bitumen belt of Ode-Irele, Ondo state, Nigeria evaluated habitat use by birds using 20- minutes birds point count to a radius of 30 meters, carried out in six selected habitats. The vegetation cover was sampled using 5x5-meters and 1m2quadrants. Data collected were subjected to t-test of ...
Using habitat stratification, birds were surveyed along transects in tidal and supralittoral sub-habitats using DISTANCE sampling protocol, and along the river by encounter rates to determine abundance and species richness. Indices of human activity as well as habitat structure parameters including ground cover, plant ...
Lerman, Susannah B.; Nislow, Keith H.; Nowak, David J.; DeStefano, Stephen; King, David I.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd
The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat to sustain bird and other wildlife populations. The primary goal of this study was to integrate wildlife suitability indices to an existing national urban forest assessment tool, i-Tree. We quantified available habitat characteristics of urban forests for ten northeastern U.S. cities, and summarized bird habitat relationships from the literature in terms of variables that were represented in the i-Tree datasets. With these data, we generated habitat suitability equations for nine bird species representing a range of life history traits and conservation status that predicts the habitat suitability based on i-Tree data. We applied these equations to the urban forest datasets to calculate the overall habitat suitability for each city and the habitat suitability for different types of land-use (e.g., residential, commercial, parkland) for each bird species. The proposed habitat models will help guide wildlife managers, urban planners, and landscape designers who require specific information such as desirable habitat conditions within an urban management project to help improve the suitability of urban forests for birds.
Sogge, M.K.; Sferra, S.J.; Paxton, E.H.
Exotic vegetation has become a major habitat component in many ecosystems around the world, sometimes dramatically changing the vegetation community structure and composition. In the southwestern United States, riparian ecosystems are undergoing major changes in part due to the establishment and spread of the exotic Tamarix (saltcedar, tamarisk). There are concerns about the suitability of Tamarix as habitat for birds. Although Tamarix habitats tend to support fewer species and individuals than native habitats, Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas data and Birds of North America accounts show that 49 species use Tamarix as breeding habitat. Importantly, the relative use of Tamarix and its quality as habitat vary substantially by geographic location and bird species. Few studies have examined how breeding in Tamarix actually affects bird survivorship and productivity; recent research on Southwestern Willow Flycatchers has found no negative effects from breeding in Tamarix habitats. Therefore, the ecological benefits and costs of Tamarix control are difficult to predict and are likely to be species specific and site specific. Given the likelihood that high-quality native riparian vegetation will not develop at all Tamarix control sites, restoration projects that remove Tamarix but do not assure replacement by high-quality native habitat have the potential to reduce the net riparian habitat value for some local or regional bird populations. Therefore, an assessment of potential negative impacts is important in deciding if exotic control should be conducted. In addition, measurable project objectives, appropriate control and restoration techniques, and robust monitoring are all critical to effective restoration planning and execution. ?? 2008 Society for Ecological Restoration International.
Scott H. Stoleson
Many birds that are experiencing population declines require extensive tracts of mature forest habitat for breeding. Recent work suggests that at least some may shift their habitat use to early-successional areas after nesting but before migration. I used constant-effort mist netting in regenerating clearcuts (4-8 years postcut) and dense mature-forest understories to...
Roshnath, Ramesh; Sinu, Palatty Allesh
Wetland ecosystems, particularly the mangrove forest, are the primary wild habitat of heronry birds. However, urban ecosystems have become a favorite breeding habitat of these birds. To provide inputs into the habitat management for conservation of these birds, we investigated the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of nesting trees of heronry birds in the urban environment of the North Kerala region of peninsular India. Census on nesting trees was done in 3 major microhabitats of the urban ecosystem: avenues of national highways and towns, nonresidential plots, and residential areas apart from the mangrove islets in the peri-urban locality. The study found that 174 trees of 22 species hosted 1,928 heronry bird nests in the urban habitats; mangrove forests, although plentiful in the study area, hosted only about 20% of the total nests encountered in the study. Rain trees Samanea saman (43.7%) were the most available nesting tree. The greatest number of nests and nesting trees were encountered on the roads of urban areas, followed by nonresidential areas and residential areas. The differences in the observed frequencies of nesting trees in 3 microhabitats and in 3 types of roads (national highways > state highways > small pocket road) were significant. Canopy spread, girth size, and quality of the trees predicted the tree selection of the heronry birds in urban environments. Therefore, we recommend proper management and notification of the identified nesting trees as protected sites for the conservation of herorny birds.
foreign exchange earnings for each national exchequer. However, recent national census records have .... Dar-es-. Salaam: Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania. Bennun, L & Njoroge, P. 1999. Important Bird Areas in Kenya, Nairobi: East Africa Natural. History Society. Byaruhanga, A, Kasoma, P. & Pomeroy, D. 2001.
David Anthony. Kirk
Full Text Available Many common bird species have declined as a result of agricultural intensification and this could be mitigated by organic farming. We paired sites for habitat and geographical location on organic and nonorganic farms in Ontario, Canada to test a priori predictions of effects on birds overall, 9 guilds and 22 species in relation to candidate models for farming practices (13 variables, local habitat features (12 variables, or habitat features that influence susceptibility to predation. We found that: (1 Overall bird abundance, but not richness, was significantly (p < 0.05 higher on organic sites (mean 43.1 individuals per site than nonorganic sites (35.8 individuals per site. Significantly more species of birds were observed for five guilds, including primary grassland birds, on organic vs. nonorganic sites. No guild had higher richness or abundance on nonorganic farms; (2 Farming practice models were the best (Î"AIC < 4 for abundance of birds overall, primary grassland bird richness, sallier aerial insectivore richness and abundance, and abundance of ground nesters; (3 Habitat models were the best for overall richness, Neotropical migrant abundance, richness and abundance of Ontario-USA-Mexico (short-distance migrants and resident richness; (4 Predation models were the best for richness of secondary grassland birds and ground feeders; (5 A combination of variables from the model types were best for richness or abundance overall, 13 of 18 guilds (richness and abundance and 16 of 22 species analyzed. Five of 10 farming practice variables (including herbicide use, organic farm type and 9 of 13 habitat variables (including hedgerow length, proportion of hay were significant in best models. Risk modeling indicated that herbicide use could decrease primary grassland birds by one species (35% decline from 3.4 to 2.3 species per site. Organic farming could benefit species of conservation concern by 49% (an increase from 7.6 to 11.4 grassland birds. An
John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R., III Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; William B., III Uihlein
Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models were developed to assess habitat quality for 40 priority bird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions. The models incorporated both site and landscape environmental variables from one of six nationally consistent datasets. Potential habitat was first defined from unique...
Ryan T. DiGaudio
Full Text Available To address the loss of wetlands and riparian forests in California, private lands habitat programs are available through U.S. federal and state government agencies to help growers, ranchers and other private landowners create and enhance wildlife habitat. The programs provide financial and technical assistance for implementing conservation practices. To evaluate the benefits of these programs for wildlife, we examined bird use of private wetlands, postharvest flooded croplands and riparian forests enrolled in habitat programs in the Central Valley and North Coast regions of California. We found that private Central Valley wetlands supported 181 bird species during the breeding season. During fall migration, postharvest flooded croplands supported wetland-dependent species and a higher density of shorebirds than did semipermanent wetlands. At the riparian sites, bird species richness increased after restoration. These results demonstrated that the programs provided habitat for the species they were designed to protect; a variety of resident and migratory bird species used the habitats, and many special status species were recorded at the sites.
McLaren, James D.; Buler, Jeffrey J.; Schreckengost, Tim; Smolinsky, Jaclyn A.; Boone, Matthew; van Loon, E. Emiel; Dawson, Deanna K.; Walters, Eric L.
With many of the world's migratory bird populations in alarming decline, broad-scale assessments of responses to migratory hazards may prove crucial to successful conservation efforts. Most birds migrate at night through increasingly light-polluted skies. Bright light sources can attract airborne migrants and lead to collisions with structures, but might also influence selection of migratory stopover habitat and thereby acquisition of food resources. We demonstrate, using multi-year weather radar measurements of nocturnal migrants across the northeastern U.S., that autumnal migrant stopover density increased at regional scales with proximity to the brightest areas, but decreased within a few kilometers of brightly-lit sources. This finding implies broad-scale attraction to artificial light while airborne, impeding selection for extensive forest habitat. Given that high-quality stopover habitat is critical to successful migration, and hindrances during migration can decrease fitness, artificial lights present a potentially heightened conservation concern for migratory bird populations.
Dawson, D.K.; Robbins, C.S.; Sauer, J.R.
We used mist nets and point counts to sample bird populations in 61 sites in Belize during January-March of 1987-1991. Sites were classified as forest, second growth, woody agricultural crops (citrus, mango, cacao, and cashew), or non-woody agricultural crops (rice and sugar cane). We evaluated patterns of occurence of wintering temperate migrant bird species in these habitats. Mist net captures of 22 of 31 migrant species differed significantly among habitats. Of these, 13 species were captured more frequently in the agricultural habitats. American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), and Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia) were among the species captured most frequently in woody agricultural habitats; captures of Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and Northern (lcterus galbula) and Orchard orioles (I. spur/anus) were highest in the non-woody agricultural sites. We relate these occurrence patterns to trends in breeding populations in North America. While count data provide a wide picture of winter habitat distribution of migrants, more intensive work is necessary to assess temporal and geographic variation of migrant bird use of agricultural habitats.
Wading birds that utilize coastal habitats may be at risk from increasing urbanization near their foraging and stopover sites. However, the relative importance of human disturbance in the context of other landscape and biological factors that may be influencing their distributio...
Franck A Hollander
Full Text Available In human-altered environments, organisms may preferentially settle in poor-quality habitats where fitness returns are lower relative to available higher-quality habitats. Such ecological trapping is due to a mismatch between the cues used during habitat selection and the habitat quality. Maladaptive settlement decisions may occur when organisms are time-constrained and have to rapidly evaluate habitat quality based on incomplete knowledge of the resources and conditions that will be available later in the season. During a three-year study, we examined settlement decision-making in the long-distance migratory, open-habitat bird, the Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio, as a response to recent land-use changes. In Northwest Europe, the shrikes typically breed in open areas under a management regime of extensive farming. In recent decades, Spruce forests have been increasingly managed with large-size cutblocks in even-aged plantations, thereby producing early-successional vegetation areas that are also colonised by the species. Farmland and open areas in forests create mosaics of two different types of habitats that are now occupied by the shrikes. We examined redundant measures of habitat preference (order of settlement after migration and distribution of dominant individuals and several reproductive performance parameters in both habitat types to investigate whether habitat preference is in line with habitat quality. Territorial males exhibited a clear preference for the recently created open areas in forests with higher-quality males settling in this habitat type earlier. Reproductive performance was, however, higher in farmland, with higher nest success, offspring quantity, and quality compared to open areas in forests. The results showed strong among-year consistency and we can therefore exclude a transient situation. This study demonstrates a case of maladaptive habitat selection in a farmland bird expanding its breeding range to human
Bonnington, Colin; Gaston, Kevin J; Evans, Karl L
Non-native species are frequently considered to influence urban assemblages. The grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is one such species that is widespread in the UK and is starting to spread across Europe; it predates birds' nests and can compete with birds for supplementary food. Using distance sampling across the urbanisation intensity gradient in Sheffield (UK) we test whether urban grey squirrels influence avian species richness and density through nest predation and competition for supplementary food sources. We also assess how urban bird assemblages respond to supplementary feeding. We find that grey squirrels slightly reduced the abundance of breeding bird species most sensitive to squirrel nest predation by reducing the beneficial impact of woodland cover. There was no evidence that grey squirrel presence altered relationships between supplementary feeding and avian assemblage structure. This may be because, somewhat surprisingly, supplementary feeding was not associated with the richness or density of wintering bird assemblages. These associations were positive during the summer, supporting advocacy to feed birds during the breeding season and not just winter, but explanatory capacity was limited. The amount of green space and its quality, assessed as canopy cover, had a stronger influence on avian species richness and population size than the presence of grey squirrels and supplementary feeding stations. Urban bird populations are thus more likely to benefit from investment in improving the availability of high quality habitats than controlling squirrel populations or increased investment in supplementary feeding.
Full Text Available Non-native species are frequently considered to influence urban assemblages. The grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is one such species that is widespread in the UK and is starting to spread across Europe; it predates birds' nests and can compete with birds for supplementary food. Using distance sampling across the urbanisation intensity gradient in Sheffield (UK we test whether urban grey squirrels influence avian species richness and density through nest predation and competition for supplementary food sources. We also assess how urban bird assemblages respond to supplementary feeding. We find that grey squirrels slightly reduced the abundance of breeding bird species most sensitive to squirrel nest predation by reducing the beneficial impact of woodland cover. There was no evidence that grey squirrel presence altered relationships between supplementary feeding and avian assemblage structure. This may be because, somewhat surprisingly, supplementary feeding was not associated with the richness or density of wintering bird assemblages. These associations were positive during the summer, supporting advocacy to feed birds during the breeding season and not just winter, but explanatory capacity was limited. The amount of green space and its quality, assessed as canopy cover, had a stronger influence on avian species richness and population size than the presence of grey squirrels and supplementary feeding stations. Urban bird populations are thus more likely to benefit from investment in improving the availability of high quality habitats than controlling squirrel populations or increased investment in supplementary feeding.
Michael E. Akresh; David I. King; Robert T. Brooks
Shrubland birds have experienced widespread declines in the eastern United States. Habitat for shrubland birds is typically dynamic, in which available habitat changes temporally and spatially in response to disturbance and succession. Despite widespread concerns among conservationists about shrubland birds, much is still poorly understood regarding fundamental...
Colleen Cassady St. Clair
Full Text Available Forest fragmentation and habitat loss may disrupt the movement or dispersal of forest-dwelling birds. Despite much interest in the severity of these effects and ways of mitigating them, little is known about actual movement patterns in different habitat types. We studied the movement of wintering resident birds, lured by playbacks of mobbing calls, to compare the willingness of forest birds to travel various distances in continuous forest, along narrow corridors (fencerows, and across gaps in forest cover. We also quantified the willingness of Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus to cross gaps when alternative forested detour routes were available. All species were less likely to respond to the calls as distance increased to 200 m, although White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis and Hairy Woodpeckers (Picoides villosus were generally less likely to respond than chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers (P. pubescens. Chickadees were as likely to travel in corridors as in continuous forest, but were less likely to cross gaps as the gap distance increased. The other species were less willing to travel in corridors and gaps relative to forest, and the differences among habitats also increased with distance. For chickadees, gap-crossing decisions in the presence of forested detours varied over the range of distances that we tested, and were primarily influenced by detour efficiency (the length of the shortcut relative to the available detour. Over short distances, birds used forested detours, regardless of their efficiency. As absolute distances increased, birds tended to employ larger shortcuts in the open when detour efficiency was low or initial distance in the open was high, but they limited their distance from the nearest forest edge to 25 m. Thus, chickadees were unwilling to cross gaps of > 50 m when they had forested alternatives, yet they sometimes crossed gaps as large as 200 m when no such choice existed. Our results suggest that
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To assess population persistence of species living in heterogeneous landscapes, the effects of habitat on reproduction and survival have to be investigated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used a matrix population model to estimate habitat-specific population growth rates for a population of northern wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe breeding in farmland consisting of a mosaic of distinct habitat (land use types. Based on extensive long-term data on reproduction and survival, habitats characterised by tall field layers (spring- and autumn-sown crop fields, ungrazed grasslands displayed negative stochastic population growth rates (log lambda(s: -0.332, -0.429, -0.168, respectively, that were markedly lower than growth rates of habitats characterised by permanently short field layers (pastures grazed by cattle or horses, and farmyards, log lambda(s: -0.056, +0.081, -0.059. Although habitats differed with respect to reproductive performance, differences in habitat-specific population growth were largely due to differences in adult and first-year survival rates, as shown by a life table response experiment (LTRE. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that estimation of survival rates is important for realistic assessments of habitat quality. Results also indicate that grazed grasslands and farmyards may act as source habitats, whereas crop fields and ungrazed grasslands with tall field layers may act as sink habitats. We suggest that the strong decline of northern wheatears in Swedish farmland may be linked to the corresponding observed loss of high quality breeding habitat, i.e. grazed semi-natural grasslands.
Chalfoun, Anna D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.
The question of why animals choose particular habitats has important implications for understanding behavioral evolution and distribution of organisms in the wild and for delineating between habitats of different quality for conservation and management. Habitats chosen by animals can influence fitness outcomes via the costs (e.g., predation risk) and benefits (e.g., food availability) of habitat use. Habitat preferences should therefore be under selection to favor those that confer fitness advantages (Clark and Shutler 1999). Indeed, prevailing theory suggests that the habitat preferences of animals should be adaptive, such that fitness is higher in preferred habitats (Hildén 1965, Southwood 1977, Martin 1998). However, studies have often identified apparent mismatches between observed habitat preferences and fitness outcomes across a wide variety of taxa (Valladares and Lawton 1991, Mayhew 1997, Kolbe and Janzen 2002, Arlt and Pärt 2007, Mägi et al. 2009). Certainly, one limitation of studies may be that assessment of “fitness” is typically constrained to fitness surrogates such as nest success rather than lifetime reproductive success or classic Fisherian fitness (Endler 1986). Nevertheless, important habitat choices such as nest sites influence the probability that temporarily sedentary, dependent young are discovered by enemies such as predators and parasites. We therefore expect, on average, to see congruence between evolved habitat preferences and relevant components of fitness (e.g., nest success). Here, we (1) review the prevalence of apparent mismatches between avian breeding-habitat preferences and fitness outcomes using nest-site selection as a focus; (2) describe several potential mechanisms for such mismatches, including anthropogenic, methodological, and ecological–evolutionary; and (3) suggest a framework for understanding the contexts in which habitat preferences represent adaptive decisions, with a primary focus on ecological information
Lantz, Van; Martínez-Espiñeira, Roberto
The traditional environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis postulates that environmental degradation follows an inverted U-shaped relationship with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. We tested the EKC hypothesis with bird populations in 5 different habitats as environmental quality indicators. Because birds are considered environmental goods, for them the EKC hypothesis would instead be associated with a U-shaped relationship between bird populations and GDP per capita. In keeping with the literature, we included other variables in the analysis-namely, human population density and time index variables (the latter variable captured the impact of persistent and exogenous climate and/or policy changes on bird populations over time). Using data from 9 Canadian provinces gathered over 37 years, we used a generalized least-squares regression for each bird habitat type, which accounted for the panel structure of the data, the cross-sectional dependence across provinces in the residuals, heteroskedasticity, and fixed- or random-effect specifications of the models. We found evidence that supports the EKC hypothesis for 3 of the 5 bird population habitat types. In addition, the relationship between human population density and the different bird populations varied, which emphasizes the complex nature of the impact that human populations have on the environment. The relationship between the time-index variable and the different bird populations also varied, which indicates there are other persistent and significant influences on bird populations over time. Overall our EKC results were consistent with those found for threatened bird species, indicating that economic prosperity does indeed act to benefit some bird populations.
Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.
We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.
Victoria Saab; William Block; Robin Russell; John Lehmkuhl; Lisa Bate; Rachel White
This publication provides information about prescribed fire effects on habitats and populations of birds of the interior West and a synthesis of existing information on bird responses to fire across North America. Our literature synthesis indicated that aerial, ground, and bark insectivores favored recently burned habitats, whereas foliage gleaners preferred unburned...
Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared. Verner
Detailed information about the nesting habitats of birds, including those needed for successful nesting, can provide a better understanding of the ecological factors that permit coexistence of different species and may aid in conservation efforts. From 1989 through 1994, we studied the nesting habitat of secondary cavity-nesting birds in oak woodlands at the San...
Tryjanowski, Piotr; Skórka, Piotr; Sparks, Tim H; Biaduń, Waldemar; Brauze, Tomasz; Hetmański, Tomasz; Martyka, Rafał; Indykiewicz, Piotr; Myczko, Łukasz; Kunysz, Przemysław; Kawa, Piotr; Czyż, Stanisław; Czechowski, Paweł; Polakowski, Michał; Zduniak, Piotr; Jerzak, Leszek; Janiszewski, Tomasz; Goławski, Artur; Duduś, Leszek; Nowakowski, Jacek J; Wuczyński, Andrzej; Wysocki, Dariusz
Bird feeding is one of the most widespread direct interactions between man and nature, and this has important social and environmental consequences. However, this activity can differ between rural and urban habitats, due to inter alia habitat structure, human behaviour and the composition of wintering bird communities. We counted birds in 156 squares (0.25 km(2) each) in December 2012 and again in January 2013 in locations in and around 26 towns and cities across Poland (in each urban area, we surveyed 3 squares and also 3 squares in nearby rural areas). At each count, we noted the number of bird feeders, the number of bird feeders with food, the type of feeders, additional food supplies potentially available for birds (bread offered by people, bins) and finally the birds themselves. In winter, urban and rural areas differ in the availability of food offered intentionally and unintentionally to birds by humans. Both types of food availability are higher in urban areas. Our findings suggest that different types of bird feeder support only those species specialized for that particular food type and this relationship is similar in urban and rural areas.
Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds. Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds. Knowledge of the effects of fragmentation on bird populations is critically important for decisions about reserve design, grassland and wetland management, and implementation of cropland set-aside programs that benefit wildlife. In my review of research that has been conducted on habitat fragmentation, I found at least five common problems in the methodology used. The results of many studies are compromised by these problems: passive sampling (sampling larger areas in larger patches), confounding effects of habitat heterogeneity, consequences of inappropriate pooling of data from different species, artifacts associated with artificial nest data, and definition of actual habitat patches. As expected, some large-bodied birds with large territorial requirements, such as the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), appear area sensitive. In addition, some small species of grassland birds favor patches of habitat far in excess of their territory size, including the Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's (A. henslowii) sparrows, and the bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Other species may be area sensitive as well, but the data are ambiguous. Area sensitivity among wetland birds remains unknown since virtually no studies have been based on solid methodologies. We need further research on grassland bird response to habitat that distinguishes supportable conclusions from those that may be artifactual.
Chandler, R.B.; King, D.I.; DeStefano, S.
Most scrub-shrub bird species are declining in the northeastern United States, and these declines are largely attributed to regional declines in habitat availability. American Beaver (Castor canadensis; hereafter “beaver”) populations have been increasing in the Northeast in recent decades, and beavers create scrub-shrub habitat through their dam-building and foraging activities. Few systematic studies have been conducted on the value of beaver-modified habitats for scrub-shrub birds, and these data are important for understanding habitat selection of scrub-shrub birds as well as for assessing regional habitat availability for these species. We conducted surveys in 37 beaver meadows in a 2,800-km2 study area in western Massachusetts during 2005 and 2006 to determine the extent to which these beaver-modified habitats are used by scrub-shrub birds, as well as the characteristics of beaver meadows most closely related to bird use. We modeled bird abundance in relation to microhabitat-, patch-, and landscape-context variables while adjusting for survey-specific covariates affecting detectability using N-mixture models. We found that scrub-shrub birds of regional conservation concern occupied these sites and that birds responded differently to microhabitat, patch, and landscape characteristics of beaver meadows. Generally, scrub-shrub birds increased in abundance along a gradient of increasing vegetation complexity, and three species were positively related to patch size. We conclude that these habitats can potentially play an important role in regional conservation of scrub-shrub birds and recommend that conservation priority be given to larger beaver meadows with diverse vegetation structure and composition.
Burley, J.B.; Hopkins, R.B.
Throughout western North Dakota the number of unreclaimed surface coal and coal-uranium mines might total over 1100. We examined the potential for enhancing the nongame bird habitat values of unreclaimed mine lands in the arid, western region of North Dakota. Generally, the greatest variety of birds occurred in natural and planted woodlands, while fewer birds occurred in unreclaimed mine lands, grasslands, shrublands and croplands. Deciduous woodland types supported more species of birds than coniferous types. Planted woodlands supported about the same number of bird species as some natural deciduous woodland types and more species than coniferous woods. Unreclaimed mine lands supported more species than grasslands and croplands, and about the same number of species as native shrublands. The highest bird densities were in planted woodlands. Bird diversity varied positively with habitat diversity. The bird fauna of unreclaimed mine lands can be enhanced by creating more diverse habitats. Seventeen guidelines to enhance unreclaimed mine lands for nongame birds are presented. These guidelines can be used in preserving habitats threatened by surface mining and reclaiming previously mined lands
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Marine Bird Habitats (F040) is one of a group of seven datasets related to Marine Birds from Coastal Alaska and Puget Sound Data (1975 -1978). Each dataset uses the...
Department of the Interior — Between spring 1976 and fall 1980 we studied the occurrence, abundance, and habitat use of birds over a 2000 km² segment of the northcentral Alaska Peninsula. During...
Wal, van der J.C.; Peña-Álvarez, B.; Arriaga-Weiss, S.L.; Hernández-Daumás, S.
We studied species, functional groups, and habitat preferences of birds in five classes of agroforestry systems: agroforests, animal agroforestry, linear agroforestry, sequential agroforestry, and crops under tree cover in Tabasco, Mexico. Sampling sites were >2 km from natural forest fragments.
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
Breeding bird populations ranged from 3.35 to 3.48 individuals/ha over a 3-year study conducted from 1981 to 1983. Brewer's sparrows, sage sparrows, sage thrashers, and black-throated sparrows were numerically dominant. Horned larks and western meadowlarks were less common. Results are compared with bird populations in Great Basin sagebrush habitats elsewhere in the United States.
Jared D. Wolfe; Matthew D. Johnson; C. John Ralph; R. Mark Brigham
Nearctic-neotropic migrant birds need to replenish energy reserves during stopover periods to successfully complete their semiannual movements. In this study we used linear models to examine the habitat use of 11 migrant species in northeastern Costa Rica to better understand the influence of food and structural resources on the presence of birds during stopover...
Christopher T. Rota; Mark A. Rumble; Chad P. Lehman; Dylan C. Kesler; Joshua J. Millspaugh
Dramatic fluctuations in food resources are a key feature of many habitats, and many species have evolved a movement strategy to exploit food resources that are unpredictable in space and time. The availability of food resources may be a particularly strong determinant of habitat quality for irruptive bird species. We studied the apparent foraging success of Black-...
Full Text Available Evidence suggests that animal patterns (motifs function in camouflage. Irregular mottled patterns can facilitate concealment when stationary in cluttered habitats, whereas regular patterns typically prevent capture during movement in open habitats. Bird plumage patterns have predominantly converged on just four types—mottled (irregular, scales, bars and spots (regular—and habitat could be driving convergent evolution in avian patterning. Based on sensory ecology, we therefore predict that irregular patterns would be associated with visually noisy closed habitats and that regular patterns would be associated with open habitats. Regular patterns have also been shown to function in communication for sexually competing males to stand-out and attract females, so we predict that male breeding plumage patterns evolved in both open and closed habitats. Here, taking phylogenetic relatedness into account, we investigate ecological selection for bird plumage patterns across the class Aves. We surveyed plumage patterns in 80% of all avian species worldwide. Of these, 2,756 bird species have regular and irregular plumage patterns as well as habitat information. In this subset, we tested whether adult breeding/non-breeding plumages in each sex, and juvenile plumages, were associated with the habitat types found within the species’ geographical distributions. We found no evidence for an association between habitat and plumage patterns across the world’s birds and little phylogenetic signal. We also found that species with regular and irregular plumage patterns were distributed randomly across the world’s eco-regions without being affected by habitat type. These results indicate that at the global spatial and taxonomic scale, habitat does not predict convergent evolution in bird plumage patterns, contrary to the camouflage hypothesis.
Somveille, Marius; Marshall, Kate L A; Gluckman, Thanh-Lan
Evidence suggests that animal patterns (motifs) function in camouflage. Irregular mottled patterns can facilitate concealment when stationary in cluttered habitats, whereas regular patterns typically prevent capture during movement in open habitats. Bird plumage patterns have predominantly converged on just four types-mottled (irregular), scales, bars and spots (regular)-and habitat could be driving convergent evolution in avian patterning. Based on sensory ecology, we therefore predict that irregular patterns would be associated with visually noisy closed habitats and that regular patterns would be associated with open habitats. Regular patterns have also been shown to function in communication for sexually competing males to stand-out and attract females, so we predict that male breeding plumage patterns evolved in both open and closed habitats. Here, taking phylogenetic relatedness into account, we investigate ecological selection for bird plumage patterns across the class Aves. We surveyed plumage patterns in 80% of all avian species worldwide. Of these, 2,756 bird species have regular and irregular plumage patterns as well as habitat information. In this subset, we tested whether adult breeding/non-breeding plumages in each sex, and juvenile plumages, were associated with the habitat types found within the species' geographical distributions. We found no evidence for an association between habitat and plumage patterns across the world's birds and little phylogenetic signal. We also found that species with regular and irregular plumage patterns were distributed randomly across the world's eco-regions without being affected by habitat type. These results indicate that at the global spatial and taxonomic scale, habitat does not predict convergent evolution in bird plumage patterns, contrary to the camouflage hypothesis.
Nolet, B.A.; Gyimesi, A.; van Lith, B.
Keywords: food intake rate; giving-up density; habitat switch; parental costs; social dominance After reproducing successfully, birds with extended parental care form family groups. Despite being the dominant social unit, such family groups have been reported to switch to alternative habitat earlier
Steve Zack; Mary K. Chase; Geoffrey R. Geupel; Diana Stralberg
Over 330 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians depend on oak woodlands in California (fig. 1) at some stage in their life cycle (Barrett 1980; Verner 1980; Block and Morrison 1998). These woodlands are able to sustain such abundant wildlife primarily because they produce acorns, a high quality and frequently copious food supply. The birds of California?s...
Moorman, C.E.; D.C. Guynn, Jr.
Research on the effects of creating group-selection openings of various sizes on breeding birds habitat use in a bottomland hardwood forest of the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Creation of 0.5-ha group selection openings in southern bottomland forests should provide breeding habitat for some field-edge species in gaps and habitat for forest-interior species and canopy-dwelling forest-edge species between gaps provided that enough mature forest is made available.
Full Text Available This paper focuses on using data mining technology to efficiently and accurately discover habitats and stopovers of migratory birds. The three methods we used are as follows: 1. a density-based clustering method, detecting stopovers of birds during their migration through density-based clustering of location points; 2. A location histories parser method, detecting areas that have been overstayed by migratory birds during a set time period by setting time and distance thresholds; and 3. A time-parameterized line segment clustering method, clustering directed line segments to analyze shared segments of migratory pathways of different migratory birds and discover the habitats and stopovers of these birds. Finally, we analyzed the migration data of the bar-headed goose in the Qinghai Lake Area through the three above methods and verified the effectiveness of the three methods and, by comparison, identified the scope and context of the use of these three methods respectively.
Fagan, Matthew E; DeFries, Ruth S; Sesnie, Steven E; Arroyo-Mora, J Pablo; Chazdon, Robin L
Re-establishing connectivity between protected areas isolated by habitat clearing is a key conservation goal in the humid tropics. In northeastern Costa Rica, payments for environmental services (PES) and a government ban on deforestation have subsidized forest protection and reforestation in the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor (SJLSBC), resulting in a decline in mature forest loss and the expansion of tree plantations. We use field studies and graph models to assess how conservation efforts have altered functional connectivity over the last 25 years for four species of insectivorous understory birds. Field playback studies assessed how reforestation habitat quality affected the willingness of Myrmeciza exsul, Henicorhina leucosticta, Thamnophilus atrinucha, and Glyphorynchus spirurus to travel outside forest habitat for territorial defense. Observed travel distances were greatest in nonnative and native tree plantations with high understory stem density, regardless of overstory composition. In contrast, tree plantations with low stem density had travel responses comparable to open pasture for three of the four bird species. We modeled landscape connectivity for each species using graph models based on varying possible travel distances in tree plantations, gallery forests, and pastures. From 1986 to 2011, connectivity for all species declined in the SJLSBC landscape (5825 km 2 ) by 14% to 21% despite only a 4.9% net loss in forest area and the rapid expansion of tree plantations over 2% of the landscape. Plantation placement in the landscape limited their potential facilitation of connectivity because they were located either far from forest cover or within already contiguous forest areas. We mapped current connectivity bottlenecks and identified priority areas for future reforestation. We estimate that reforestation of priority areas could improve connectivity by 2% with only a 1% gain in forest cover, an impressive gain given the small area reforested
Gauthreaux, Sidney, A.; Steven J. Wagner.
Gauthreaux, Sidney, A., and Steven J. Wagner. 2005. Breeding bird populations and habitat associations within the Savannah River Site (SRS). Final Report. USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, Aiken, SC. 48 pp. Abstract: During the 1970's and 1980's a dramatic decline occurred in the populations of Neotropical migratory birds, species that breed in North America and winter south of the border in Central and South America and in the Caribbean. In 1991 an international initiative was mounted by U. S. governmental land management agencies, nongovernmental conservation agencies, and the academic and lay ornithological communities to understand the decline of Neotropical migratory birds in the Americas. In cooperation with the USDA Forest Service - Savannah River (FS - SR) we began 1992 a project directed to monitoring population densities of breeding birds using the Breeding Bird Census (BBC) methodology in selected habitats within the Savannah River Site SRS. In addition we related point count data on the occurrence of breeding Neotropical migrants and other bird species to the habitat data gathered by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the USDA Forest Service and data on habitat treatments within forest stands.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ratio of habitat generalists to specialists in birds has been suggested as a good indicator of ecosystem changes due to e.g. climate change and other anthropogenic perturbations. Most studies focusing on this functional component of biodiversity originate, however, from temperate regions. The Eurasian Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by domestic reindeer and growing human activity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we monitored bird communities in a tundra landscape harbouring shrub and open habitats in order to analyse bird habitat relationships and quantify habitat specialization. We used ordination methods to analyse habitat associations and estimated the proportions of specialists in each of the main habitats. Correspondence Analysis identified three main bird communities, inhabiting upland, lowland and dense willow shrubs. We documented a stable structure of communities despite large multiannual variations of bird density (from 90 to 175 pairs/km(2. Willow shrub thickets were a hotspot for bird density, but not for species richness. The thickets hosted many specialized species whose main distribution area was south of the tundra. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: If current arctic changes result in a shrubification of the landscape as many studies suggested, we would expect an increase in the overall bird abundance together with an increase of local specialists, since they are associated with willow thickets. The majority of these species have a southern origin and their increase in abundance would represent a strengthening of the boreal component in the southern tundra, perhaps at the expense of species typical of the subarctic zone, which appear to be generalists within this zone.
Full Text Available Vineyards are likely to be regionally important for wildlife, but we lack biodiversity studies in this agroecosystem which is undergoing a rapid management revolution. As vine cultivation is restricted to arid and warm climatic regions, biodiversity-friendly management would promote species typical of southern biomes. Vineyards are often intensively cultivated, mostly surrounded by few natural features and offering a fairly mineral appearance with little ground vegetation cover. Ground vegetation cover and composition may further strongly vary with respect to season, influencing patterns of habitat selection by ecological communities. We investigated season-specific bird-habitat associations to highlight the importance of semi-natural habitat features and vineyard ground vegetation cover throughout the year. Given that avian habitat selection varies according to taxa, guilds and spatial scale, we modelled bird-habitat associations in all months at two spatial scales using mixed effects regression models. At the landscape scale, birds were recorded along 10 1-km long transects in Southwestern Switzerland (February 2014 -January 2015. At the field scale, we compared the characteristics of visited and unvisited vineyard fields (hereafter called parcels. Bird abundance in vineyards tripled in winter compared to summer. Vineyards surrounded by a greater amount of hedges and small woods harboured higher bird abundance, species richness and diversity, especially during the winter season. Regarding ground vegetation, birds showed a season-specific habitat selection pattern, notably a marked preference for ground-vegetated parcels in winter and for intermediate vegetation cover in spring and summer. These season-specific preferences might be related to species-specific life histories: more insectivorous, ground-foraging species occur during the breeding season whereas granivores predominate in winter. These results highlight the importance of
Verônica S. da M. Gomes
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Restinga occurs as a narrow band of coastal habitats throughout the Atlantic Forest, although it presents considerable variation in vegetation structure, which likely contributes to heterogeneity in species inhabiting this endangered ecosystem. The goal of this study is to examine how variation in vegetation and abiotic conditions in the restinga ecosystem may contribute to heterogeneity of bird communities in Restinga de Jurubatiba, Brazil. Temperature, relative humidity, and vegetation structure were sampled to characterize four sites (dry forest, flooded forest, open scrub and closed scrub. Birds were sampled using observations, mist-netting and voice recordings. Results indicate that major differences of all variables occur between forest and scrub in both vegetation and birds. In addition, differences also exist within forests and within scrub, resulting in considerable heterogeneity among sampled areas. Scrub sites were richer in bird species (n = 58 than forest sites (n = 41, while closed scrub had the most species (n = 49. Also, 64% (47 of 73 of bird species were exclusive to forest or scrub habitats. Scrub habitats were more similar to each other than forest habitats. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI calculated from satellite images distinguished scrub sites and may be useful to monitor changes in vegetation patches through time. The restinga ecosystem is quite heterogeneous with considerable turnover in bird species composition and differences in vegetation structure. Forest strips may serve as connectors on the landscape and to help maintain species diversity and conservation of forest species. Also, this highly dynamic ecosystem, which includes a mosaic of habitat types, likely promotes resilience of bird populations under changing conditions.
Devries, J H; Clark, R G; Armstrong, L M
According to theory, habitat selection by organisms should reflect underlying habitat-specific fitness consequences and, in birds, reproductive success has a strong impact on population growth in many species. Understanding processes affecting habitat selection also is critically important for guiding conservation initiatives. Northern pintails (Anas acuta) are migratory, temperate-nesting birds that breed in greatest concentrations in the prairies of North America and their population remains below conservation goals. Habitat loss and changing land use practices may have decoupled formerly reliable fitness cues with respect to nest habitat choices. We used data from 62 waterfowl nesting study sites across prairie Canada (1997-2009) to examine nest survival, a primary fitness metric, at multiple scales, in combination with estimates of habitat selection (i.e., nests versus random points), to test for evidence of adaptive habitat choices. We used the same habitat covariates in both analyses. Pintail nest survival varied with nest initiation date, nest habitat, pintail breeding pair density, landscape composition and annual moisture. Selection of nesting habitat reflected patterns in nest survival in some cases, indicating adaptive selection, but strength of habitat selection varied seasonally and depended on population density and landscape composition. Adaptive selection was most evident late in the breeding season, at low breeding densities and in cropland-dominated landscapes. Strikingly, at high breeding density, habitat choice appears to become maladaptive relative to nest predation. At larger spatial scales, the relative availability of habitats with low versus high nest survival, and changing land use practices, may limit the reproductive potential of pintails.
Full Text Available Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity.
Migration routes used by Nearctic migrant birds can cover great distances; they also differ among species, within species, and between years and seasons. As a result, migration routes for an entire migratory avifauna can encompass broad geographic areas, making it impossible to protect continuous stretches of habitat sufficient to connect the wintering and breeding grounds for most species. Consequently, ways to enhance habitats converted for human use (i.e. for pasture, crop cultivation, human settlement) as stopover sites for migrants are especially important. Shelterbelts around pastures and fields, if planted with species targeted to support migrant (and resident) bird species that naturally occupy mature forest habitats and that are at least partially frugivorous, could be a powerful enhancement tool for such species, if the birds will enter the converted areas to feed. I tested this approach for Nearctic migrant birds during the spring migration through an area in Chiapas, Mexico. Mature forest tree species whose fruits are eaten by birds were surveyed. Based on life form, crop size and fruit characteristics, I selected three tree species for study: Cymbopetalum mayanum (Annonaceae), Bursera simaruba (Burseraceae) and Trophis racemosa (Moraceae). I compared the use of fruits of these species by migrants and residents in forest with their use of the fruits of isolated individuals of the same species in pasture and cropland. All three plant species were useful for enhancing converted habitats for forest-occupying spring migrants, although species differed in the degree to which they entered disturbed areas to feed on the fruits. These tree species could probably enhance habitats for migrants at sites throughout the natural geographic ranges of the plants; in other geographic areas for other target bird groups, other tree species might be more appropriate.
David I. King; Richard B. Chandler; Jeffrey M. Collins; Wayne R. Petersen; Thomas E. Lautzenheiser
Concern about declines in scrubâshrub bird populations has resulted in efforts to create and maintain habitat for these species. Vegetation within powerline corridors is managed to prevent contact of vegetation with transmission lines, and comprises approximately 2% of all of habitat for scrubâshrub birds in southern New England. Although previous studies have...
Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A
Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.
Susannah B. Lerman; Keith H. Nislow; David J. Nowak; Stephen DeStefano; David I. King; D. Todd. Jones-Farrand
The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat...
Tracey B. Champlin; John C. Kilgo; Christopher E. Moorman
Few attempts have been made to experimentally address the extent to which temporal or spatial variation in food availability influences avian habitat use. We used an experimental approach to investigate whether bird use differed between treated (arthropods reduced through insecticide application) and control (untreated) forest canopy gaps within a bottomland hardwood...
Brian Kane; Paige S. Warren; Susannah B. Lerman
Trees in towns and cities provide habitat for wildlife. In particular, cavity-nesting birds nest in the deadand decayed stems and branches of these trees. The same dead and decayed stems and branches alsohave a greater likelihood of failure, which, in some circumstances, increases risk. We examined 1760trees in Baltimore, MD, USA and western MA, USA, assessing tree...
Robin E. Russell; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley
Models of habitat suitability in postfire landscapes are needed by land managers to make timely decisions regarding postfire timber harvest and other management activities. Many species of cavity-nesting birds are dependent on postfire landscapes for breeding and other aspects of their life history and are responsive to postfire management activities (e.g., timber...
Andrew Milliken; Craig Watson; Chuck Hayes
The Atlantic Coast Joint Venture is a partnership focused on the conservation of habitats for migratory birds within the Atlantic Flyway/Atlantic Coast Region from Maine south to Puerto Rico. In order to be effective in planning and implementing conservation in this large and diverse area, the joint venture must work at multiple spatial scales, from the largest ?...
Full Text Available Birds can be used indirectly or directly as a bioindicator of environment. Birds species living in six habitat types of PT Inhutani I Labanan Kalimantan Timur (namely, logged-over areas that has been exploited in 1976/1981 and 1981/1986, forested area that is being exploited in 1999/2000, primary forest that will be exploited in 2001/2002, Labanan Jaya Village inhabited in 1982/1983, and Segah-Malinau Transmigration Settlement inhabited in 1997/1998 were recorded with transect method (long of 3 km and within sighting distance of 25-50 m at 06.30-10.00 and 15.00-17.30 in both dry and rainy seasons. One hundred and two identified species belonging to 34 families and 6 unidentified species were found. Habitat types and seasons affect bird diversity (the number of species and abundance. Percent dissimilarity of birds between habitats ranged 0,53-0,95 in rainy season and 0,54-0,95 in dry season and between seasons ranged 0,50-0,80. Quantitative values have to be completed with qualitative consideration to assess habitat condition or changes.
Sánchez-Oliver, J. S.; Rey Benayas, J. M.; Carrascal, L. M.
Afforestation programs such as the one promoted by the EU Common Agrarian Policy have contributed to spread tree plantations on former cropland. Nevertheless these afforestations may cause severe damage to open habitat species, especially birds of high conservation value. We investigated predation of artificial bird nests at young tree plantations and at the open farmland habitat adjacent to the tree plantations in central Spain. Predation rates were very high at both tree plantations (95.6%) and open farmland habitat (94.2%) after two and three week exposure. Plantation edge/area ratio and development of the tree canopy decreased predation rates and plantation area and magpie (Pica pica) abundance increased predation rates within tree plantations, which were also affected by land use types around plantations. The area of nearby tree plantations (positive effect), distance to the tree plantation edge (negative effect), and habitat type (mainly attributable to the location of nests in vineyards) explained predation rates at open farmland habitat. We conclude that predation rates on artificial nests were particularly high and rapid at or nearby large plantations, with high numbers of magpies and low tree development, and located in homogenous landscapes dominated by herbaceous crops and pastures with no remnants of semi-natural woody vegetation. Landscape planning should not favour tree plantations as the ones studied here in Mediterranean agricultural areas that are highly valuable for ground-nesting bird species.
Roberto A. Moreno-García
Full Text Available Aim of study: Our objective was to find habitat associations at a microhabitat level for two endemic birds in a Chilean temperate forest (biodiversity “hotspots”, in order to integrate biodiversity into forest planning.Area of study: Nahuelbuta Range, Chile.Material and methods: The two birds studied were Scelorchilus rubecula (Chucao Tapaculo and Scytalopus magellanicus (Magellanic Tapaculo, both belonging to the Rhinocryptidae family. Presence or absence of the two species was sampled in 57 census spots. Habitat was categorized according to presence/absence results. We assessed the influence of abiotic variables (altitude, exposure, slope and vegetation structure (percentage of understory cover, number of strata using a statistical cluster analysis.Main results: The two bird species selected the habitat. Most frequent presence was detected at a range of 600-1100 masl, but Magellanic Tapaculo was associated to more protected sites in terms of vegetation structure (50-75% for understory cover and 2-3 strata. Slope was the most relevant abiotic variable in habitat selection due to its linkage to vegetation traits in this area.Research highlights: Our results can help managers to integrate biodiversity (endemic fauna species into forest planning by preserving certain traits of the vegetation as part of a habitat (at a microhabitat level selected by the fauna species. That planning should be implemented with both an adequate wood harvesting cuts system and specific silvicultural treatments.Key words: Chile; Nahuelbuta; rhinocryptidae; cluster analysis; rorest planning; vegetation structure.
Champlin, Tracey B.; Kilgo, John C.; Moorman, Christopher E.
Abstract. Few attempts have been made to experimentally address the extent to which temporal or spatial variation in food availability influences avian habitat use. We used an experimental approach to investigate whether bird use differed between treated (arthropods reduced through insecticide application) and control (untreated) forest canopy gaps within a bottomland hardwood forest in the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina, USA. Gaps were two- to three-year-old group selection timber harvest openings of three sizes (0.13, 0.26, and 0.50 ha). Our study was conducted during four bird use periods (spring migration, breeding, post-breeding, and fall migration) in 2002 and 2003. Arthropods were reduced in treated gaps by 68% in 2002 and 73% in 2003. We used mist-netting captures and foraging attack rates to assess the influence of arthropod abundance on avian habitat use. Evidence that birds responded to arthropod abundance was limited and inconsistent. In 2002, we generally captured more birds in treated gaps of the smallest size (0.13 ha) and fewer birds in treated gaps of the larger sizes. In 2003, we recorded few differences in the number of captures in treated and control gaps. Foraging attack rates generally were lower in treated than in control gaps, indicating that birds were able to adapt to the reduced food availability and remain in treated gaps. We conclude that arthropod abundance was not a proximate factor controlling whether forest birds used our gaps. The abundance of food resources may not be as important in determining avian habitat selection as previous research has indicated, at least for passerines in temperate subtropical regions.
Nicholas J. Bayly
Full Text Available Long-distance migratory birds are declining globally and migration has been identified as the primary source of mortality in this group. Despite this, our lack of knowledge of habitat use and quality at stopovers, i.e., sites where the energy for migration is accumulated, remains a barrier to designing appropriate conservation measures, especially in tropical regions. There is therefore an urgent need to assess stopover habitat quality and concurrently identify efficient and cost-effective methods for doing so. Given that fuel deposition rates directly influence stopover duration, departure fuel load, and subsequent speed of migration, they are expected to provide a direct measure of habitat quality and have the advantage of being measurable through body-mass changes. Here, we examined seven potential indicators of quality, including body-mass change, for two ecologically distinct Neotropical migratory landbirds on stopover in shade-coffee plantations and tropical humid premontane forest during spring migration in Colombia: (1 rate of body-mass change; (2 foraging rate; (3 recapture rate; (4 density; (5 flock size; (6 age and sex ratios; and (7 body-mass distribution. We found higher rates of mass change in premontane forest than in shade-coffee in Tennessee Warbler Oreothlypis peregrina, a difference that was mirrored in higher densities and body masses in forest. In Gray-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus, a lack of recaptures in shade-coffee and higher densities in forest, also suggested that forest provided superior fueling conditions. For a reliable assessment of habitat quality, we therefore recommend using a suite of indicators, taking into account each species' ecology and methodological considerations. Our results also imply that birds stopping over in lower quality habitats may spend a longer time migrating and require more stopovers, potentially leading to important carryover effects on reproductive fitness. Evaluating habitat quality is
Norris, D Ryan; Flockhart, D T Tyler; Strickland, Dan
A comprehensive understanding of how natural and anthropogenic variation in habitat influences populations requires long-term information on how such variation affects survival and dispersal throughout the annual cycle. Gray jays Perisoreus canadensis are widespread boreal resident passerines that use cached food to survive over the winter and to begin breeding during the late winter. Using multistate capture-recapture analysis, we examined apparent survival and dispersal in relation to habitat quality in a gray jay population over 34 years (1977-2010). Prior evidence suggests that natural variation in habitat quality is driven by the proportion of conifers on territories because of their superior ability to preserve cached food. Although neither adults (>1 year) nor juveniles (conifer territories, both age classes were less likely to leave high-conifer territories and, when they did move, were more likely to disperse to high-conifer territories. In contrast, survival rates were lower on territories that were adjacent to a major highway compared to territories that did not border the highway but there was no evidence for directional dispersal towards or away from highway territories. Our results support the notion that natural variation in habitat quality is driven by the proportion of coniferous trees on territories and provide the first evidence that high-mortality highway habitats can act as an equal-preference ecological trap for birds. Reproductive success, as shown in a previous study, but not survival, is sensitive to natural variation in habitat quality, suggesting that gray jays, despite living in harsh winter conditions, likely favor the allocation of limited resources towards self-maintenance over reproduction.
Lawrence E. Conole
Full Text Available Urban exploiters and adapters are often coalesced under a term of convenience as ‘urban tolerant’. This useful but simplistic characterisation masks a more nuanced interplay between and within assemblages of birds that are more or less well adapted to a range of urban habitats. I test the hypotheses that objectively-defined urban exploiter and suburban adapter assemblages within the broad urban tolerant grouping in Melbourne vary in their responses within the larger group to predictor variables, and that the most explanatory predictor variables vary between the two assemblages. A paired, partitioned analysis of exploiter and adapter preferences for points along the urban–rural gradient was undertaken to decompose the overall trend into diagnosable parts for each assemblage. In a similar way to that in which time since establishment has been found to be related to high urban densities of some bird species and biogeographic origin predictive of urban adaptation extent, habitat origins of members of bird assemblages influence the degree to which they become urban tolerant. Bird species that objectively classify as urban tolerant will further classify as either exploiters or adapters according to the degree of openness of their habitats-of-origin.
Smith, Nicoleen Celeste
Human activities cause drastic changes in the environment, such as the fragmentation of habitats, which is the greatest threat to the world's biodiversity and biogeography. By using birds to study habitat changes, it is possible that the type of habitat qualities that may still be possible near and in cities could be determined. It is possible that by improving the quality or conditions of habitats for birds, habitat qualities for other fauna would also improve. Birds are al...
Full Text Available Munderikadavu is rich in avifaunal diversity. A total of 82 species of birds from 36 families belonging to 13 orders were recorded in the wetland including wetland dependant species. Lowland vegetation had the highest species richness (46 species followed by upland (41 species, aerial (38 species, emergent vegetation (22 species and paddy fields (21 species. Open water had the lowest species richness. Upland vegetation had the highest species diversity (H′-3.19 followed by aerial (H′-2.52. There was more species overlap between emergent and low land vegetations (Cm-0.7. The threats in Munderikadavu wetland were dumping of waste and conversion of cultivation land into shrimp farming area. Thus land use changes need to be regulated in order to conserve the wetland and bird community.
Sauerbrei, Ralf; Aue, Birgit; Krippes, Christian; Diehl, Eva; Wolters, Volkmar
Biomass is increasingly used as an alternative source for energy in Europe. Woody material cut from hedges is considered to provide a suitable complement to maize and oilseed rape, which are currently the dominant biomass sources. Since shrubs and trees are also important habitats for birds, however, coppicing of hedges at the landscape scale may adversely affect the diversity of the avifauna. To evaluate this risk, we estimated the response of hedge birds to three management scenarios differing in cutting intensity and hedge selection. The analysis was done using hedge data of the Lautertal municipality (n = 339 hedges; Vogelsberg area, Hesse, Germany). It focused on 25 bird species, which are all listed in the hedge programme of the German Ornithological Stations. Information on the preferences of these birds for certain hedge features such as height or width was gathered by an extensive literature review. A cluster analysis on the consolidated literature data allowed us to identify three groups of birds according to their preference for certain hedge attributes. Two groups, which included Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella L.) (i) and Blackbird (Turdus merula L.) (ii), favoured trees located in hedges, but differed in their preference for hedge shape, with (i) being attracted by long and broad hedges and (ii) by high hedges. The third group, which included the Whitethroat (Sylvia communis L.), preferred small hedges with gaps and medium vegetation density. Spatially explicit suitability models based on these data allowed us to predict the status quo of hedge suitability for these species groups. Field surveys proved the accuracy of the predictions to be sufficient, since the hedge suitability predicted was significantly and positively correlated to the occurrence of 9 out of the 12 testable focal species. Our models predicted biomass extraction to almost always reduce hedge suitability for the three bird groups. Concerning the Yellowhammer and the Blackbird
Farfán, M.A., E-mail: email@example.com [Biogea Consultores, Calle Navarro Ledesma 243, Portal 4, 3° C, 29010, Málaga (Spain); Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Duarte, J., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Ofitecma, Calle Colombia 5, 29400 Ronda, Málaga (Spain); Real, R. [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Muñoz, A.R., E-mail: email@example.com [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Departamento de Botànica, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Avda. Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n, Burjassot, Valencia (Spain); Fa, J.E., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology, School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Vargas, J.M. [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain)
Onshore wind farms remain one of the most widely used technologies for the production of renewable energy. These are known to affect birds through disturbance or collision. Most research focus on the impact of wind farms on raptors or other large bird species, especially those of conservation concern. However, limited information exists on the effect of wind farms on small birds. Recovery of large versus small bird populations impacted by wind farms is also largely unstudied. A reason for this is the lack of long-term datasets based on standardized, systematic assessments. We monitored birds in the vicinity of a wind farm in an upland habitat in southern Spain (Malaga province), immediately after installation and 6.5 years post-construction. During both study periods, we observed 11 raptor and 38 non-raptor species (including 30 passerines). We found differences in recovery rates between raptors and non-raptors. Raptors showed an upturn in numbers but non-raptor abundance fell significantly. Greater attention should be paid to the recovery of wildlife after initial impact assessments than at present. This study confirms that regulatory authorities and developers should consider the likely impacts of wind farms on small bird populations. Mitigation measures focused particularly on non-raptor species should be considered and implemented as a means to reduce these negative effects.
Farfán, M.A.; Duarte, J.; Real, R.; Muñoz, A.R.; Fa, J.E.; Vargas, J.M.
Onshore wind farms remain one of the most widely used technologies for the production of renewable energy. These are known to affect birds through disturbance or collision. Most research focus on the impact of wind farms on raptors or other large bird species, especially those of conservation concern. However, limited information exists on the effect of wind farms on small birds. Recovery of large versus small bird populations impacted by wind farms is also largely unstudied. A reason for this is the lack of long-term datasets based on standardized, systematic assessments. We monitored birds in the vicinity of a wind farm in an upland habitat in southern Spain (Malaga province), immediately after installation and 6.5 years post-construction. During both study periods, we observed 11 raptor and 38 non-raptor species (including 30 passerines). We found differences in recovery rates between raptors and non-raptors. Raptors showed an upturn in numbers but non-raptor abundance fell significantly. Greater attention should be paid to the recovery of wildlife after initial impact assessments than at present. This study confirms that regulatory authorities and developers should consider the likely impacts of wind farms on small bird populations. Mitigation measures focused particularly on non-raptor species should be considered and implemented as a means to reduce these negative effects.
A trail census was conducted of the breeding birds found in three major habitats in the Field Irradiator Gamma area at the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment, Pinawa, Manitoba. The area sampled was about 10.50 ha in size, and included 4.25 ha of upland forest, 4.75 ha of lowland conifers, and 1.50 ha of black spruce-tamarack bog. Forty-four species of birds were identified, of which 24 were considered to be resident in the study area. The highest population density was observed in the bog, followed by upland forest and lowland conifer respectively. In contrast, species diversity was greatest in the upland forest, while it decreased markedly in the relatively monotypic lowland conifer and bog habitats. (author)
Martin, Thomas E.
Resource selection specialization may increase vulnerability of populations to environmental change. One environmental change that may negatively impact some populations is the broad decline of quaking aspen Populus tremuloides, a preferred nest tree of cavity-nesting organisms who are commonly limited by nest-site availability. However, the long-term consequences of this habitat change for cavity-nesting bird populations are poorly studied.
Earnst, S.L.; Holmes, A.L.
Vegetation structure is considered an important habitat feature structuring avian communities. In the sagebrush biome, both remotely-sensed and field-acquired measures of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) cover have proven valuable in understanding avian abundance. Differences in structure between the exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and native bunchgrasses are also expected to be important. We used avian abundance data from 318 point count stations, coupled with field vegetation measurements and a detailed vegetation map, to model abundance for four shrub- and four grassland-associated avian species in southeastern Washington shrubsteppe. Specifically, we ask whether species distinguish between bunchgrass and cheatgrass, and whether mapped, categorical cover types adequately explain species' abundance or whether fine-grained, field-measured differences in vegetation cover are also important. Results indicate that mapped cover types alone can be useful for predicting patterns of distribution and abundance within the sagebrush biome for several avian species (five of eight studied here). However, field-measured sagebrush cover was a strong positive predictor for Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli), the only sagebrush obligate in this study, and a strong negative predictor for two grassland associates, Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Likewise, shrub associates did not differ in abundance in sagebrush with a cheatgrass vs. bunchgrass understory, but grassland associates were more common in either bunchgrass (Horned Lark and Grasshopper Sparrow) or cheatgrass grasslands (Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus), or tended to use sagebrush-cheatgrass less than sagebrush-bunchgrass (Horned Lark, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis).
Theperformance response and egg qualities o laying birds fed enzyme supplemented PKC diets asreplacement for maize was investigated wth 210, 20 week old layng pullets of Dominant Black strain at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Delta State University, Asaba Campus, Nigeria. The birds which ust come into ...
Full Text Available Abstract In recent decades the otter (Lutra lutra has declined over much of Europe. Good habitat has been shown to be essential to otters. Specific elements of cover have been identified in some studies but the minimum cover requirements to support otter populations are not known. These are likely to vary in relation to other factors, such as disturbance. Habitat destruction has been severe in many areas of Europe. Water quantity is important to otters, especially where low flows destroy the food base, namely fish. However the minimum food requirements to support populations are not known. The main cause of the decline in otter populations is almost certainly bioaccumulating pollutants, especially PCBs. These are likely to be inhibiting recolonization in many areas. In Britain, catchment distribution of otters within regions is negatively correlated to mean PCB levels in otter spraints, and these are indicative of tissue levels. PCBs have been found in all samples studied. Current EC statutory monitoring is inadequate to protect otter populations from bioaccumulating contaminants. Standards are presented here for otter protection. More fundamental research is required to refine our understanding of the requirements of the otter. Riassunto Qualità ambientale, qualità dell'acqua e distribuzione della lontra - Negli ultimi decenni la lontra (Lutra lutra è diminuita su buona parte del suo areale europeo, dove particolarmente pesante è stata la distruzione di ambienti favorevoli. Habitat qualitativamente idonei sono essenziali per la sopravvivenza della specie. In alcuni studi, specifici parametri di copertura vegetale dei corpi idrici sono stati ritenuti importanti per la specie, ma quale sia il valore minimo di copertura riparia in grado di supportare una popolazione resta sconosciuto. I parametri di copertura variano probabilmente in relazione ad altri fattori, quali, ad
Michael J Anteau
Full Text Available Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers. We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2 that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median, but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.
Anteau, Michael J; Sherfy, Mark H; Wiltermuth, Mark T
Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2)) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.
Mettke-Hofmann, Claudia; Hamel, Paul B; Hofmann, Gerhard; Zenzal, Theodore J; Pellegrini, Anne; Malpass, Jennifer; Garfinkel, Megan; Schiff, Nathan; Greenberg, Russell
Bird habitat quality is often inferred from species abundance measures during the breeding and non-breeding season and used for conservation management decisions. However, during the non-breeding season age and sex classes often occupy different habitats which suggest a need for more habitat-specific data. Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) is a forested wetland specialist wintering in bottomland hardwood forests in the south-eastern U. S. and belongs to the most steeply declining songbirds in the U.S. Little information is available to support priority birds such as the Rusty Blackbird wintering in this threatened habitat. We assessed age and sex distribution and body condition of Rusty Blackbirds among the three major habitats used by this species in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley and also measured food availability. Overall, pecan groves had the highest biomass mainly driven by the amount of nuts. Invertebrate biomass was highest in forests but contributed only a small percentage to overall biomass. Age and sex classes were unevenly distributed among habitats with adult males primarily occupying pecan groves containing the highest nut biomass, females being found in forests which had the lowest nut biomass and young males primarily staying in forest fragments along creeks which had intermediate nut biomass. Males were in better body condition than females and were in slightly better condition in pecan groves. The results suggest that adult males occupy the highest quality habitat and may competitively exclude the other age and sex classes.
Full Text Available Bird habitat quality is often inferred from species abundance measures during the breeding and non-breeding season and used for conservation management decisions. However, during the non-breeding season age and sex classes often occupy different habitats which suggest a need for more habitat-specific data. Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus is a forested wetland specialist wintering in bottomland hardwood forests in the south-eastern U. S. and belongs to the most steeply declining songbirds in the U.S. Little information is available to support priority birds such as the Rusty Blackbird wintering in this threatened habitat. We assessed age and sex distribution and body condition of Rusty Blackbirds among the three major habitats used by this species in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley and also measured food availability. Overall, pecan groves had the highest biomass mainly driven by the amount of nuts. Invertebrate biomass was highest in forests but contributed only a small percentage to overall biomass. Age and sex classes were unevenly distributed among habitats with adult males primarily occupying pecan groves containing the highest nut biomass, females being found in forests which had the lowest nut biomass and young males primarily staying in forest fragments along creeks which had intermediate nut biomass. Males were in better body condition than females and were in slightly better condition in pecan groves. The results suggest that adult males occupy the highest quality habitat and may competitively exclude the other age and sex classes.
van Hees, S.R.W.
This article discusses two legal issues that relate to the conflict between the interest of protecting habitats and species under the Habitats and Birds Directives, versus the interest of promoting the use of innovative water-related renewable energy, with regard to the quota in the Renewable Energy
Randall A., Jr. Schultz; Thomas C., Jr. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen; Tracey S. Frescino
The ability of USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) generated spatial products to increase the predictive accuracy of spatially explicit, macroscale habitat models was examined for nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds in Fishlake National Forest, Utah. One FIA-derived variable (percent basal area of aspen trees) was significant in the habitat...
Michelle M Jackson
Full Text Available North America's coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room "at the top" to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP, a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52-79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being "squeezed off the mountain", as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of
Kirsten M. Parris
Full Text Available Roadside habitats are important for a range of taxa including plants, insects, mammals, and birds, particularly in developed countries in which large expanses of native vegetation have been cleared for agriculture or urban development. Although roadside vegetation may provide suitable habitat for many species, resident animals can be exposed to high levels of traffic noise, visual disturbance from passing vehicles, and the risk of collision with cars and trucks. Traffic noise can reduce the distance over which acoustic signals such as song can be detected, an effect known as acoustic interference or masking. Studies from the northern hemisphere show that the singing behavior of birds changes in the presence of traffic noise. We investigated the impact of traffic noise and traffic volume on two species of birds, the Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica and the Grey Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa, at 58 roadside sites on the Mornington Peninsula, southeastern Australia. The lower singing Grey Shrike-thrush sang at a higher frequency in the presence of traffic noise, with a predicted increase in dominant frequency of 5.8 Hz/dB of traffic noise, and a total effect size of 209 Hz. In contrast, the higher singing Grey Fantail did not appear to change its song in traffic noise. The probability of detecting each species on a visit to a site declined substantially with increasing traffic noise and traffic volume, with several lines of evidence supporting a larger effect of traffic noise. Traffic noise could hamper detection of song by conspecifics, making it more difficult for birds to establish and maintain territories, attract mates and maintain pair bonds, and possibly leading to reduced breeding success in noisy roadside habitats. Closing key roads during the breeding season is a potential, but untested, management strategy to protect threatened bird species from traffic noise and collision with vehicles at the time of year when they are most
Tavernia, Brian G.; Lyons, James E.; Loges, Brian W.; Wilson, Andrew; Collazo, Jaime A.; Runge, Michael C.
Wetland managers benefit from monitoring data of sufficient precision and accuracy to assess wildlife habitat conditions and to evaluate and learn from past management decisions. For large-scale monitoring programs focused on waterbirds (waterfowl, wading birds, secretive marsh birds, and shorebirds), precision and accuracy of habitat measurements must be balanced with fiscal and logistic constraints. We evaluated a set of protocols for rapid, visual estimates of key waterbird habitat characteristics made from the wetland perimeter against estimates from (1) plots sampled within wetlands, and (2) cover maps made from aerial photographs. Estimated percent cover of annuals and perennials using a perimeter-based protocol fell within 10 percent of plot-based estimates, and percent cover estimates for seven vegetation height classes were within 20 % of plot-based estimates. Perimeter-based estimates of total emergent vegetation cover did not differ significantly from cover map estimates. Post-hoc analyses revealed evidence for observer effects in estimates of annual and perennial covers and vegetation height. Median time required to complete perimeter-based methods was less than 7 percent of the time needed for intensive plot-based methods. Our results show that rapid, perimeter-based assessments, which increase sample size and efficiency, provide vegetation estimates comparable to more intensive methods.
Edmund J. Zlonis
Full Text Available Human-induced effects on lowland conifer forests in hemiboreal regions are increasing because of expanded use of these northern ecosystems for raw materials, energy, and minerals as well as the potential effects of climatic changes. These forests support many breeding bird species across the Holarctic and allow the persistence of several boreal bird species in hemiboreal and even temperate regions. These bird species are of particular conservation concern as shifting patterns northward in forest composition caused by climate change will likely affect their populations. However, effective management and conservation options are limited because the specifics of these species' breeding habitats are not well understood. We modeled and mapped habitat suitability for 11 species of boreal birds that breed in the lowland conifer forests of the Agassiz Lowlands Ecological Subsection in northern Minnesota and are likely to have reduced breeding habitat in the future: Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis, Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus, Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris, Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus, Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula, Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus, Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis, Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum, and Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis. Sets of 7 to 16 potential environmental covariates, including both stand-level and landscape attributes, were used to develop individual species models. Within this lowland conifer-dominated ecosystem, we found significant selection for specific forest and landscape characteristics by all but one of these species, with the best models including between one and nine variables. Habitat suitability maps were developed from these models and predictions tested with an independent dataset. Model performance depended on species, correctly predicting 56-96% of
Horn, Sabine; de la Vega, Camille; Asmus, Ragnhild; Schwemmer, Philipp; Enners, Leonie; Garthe, Stefan; Binder, Kirsten; Asmus, Harald
The determination of food web structures using Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) is a helpful tool to get insight into complex ecosystem processes. The intertidal area of the Wadden Sea is structured into diverse habitat types which differ in their ecological functioning. In the present study, six different intertidal habitats (i.e. cockle field, razor clam field, mud flat, mussel bank, sand flat and seagrass meadow) were analyzed using ENA to determine similarities and characteristic differences in the food web structure of the systems. All six systems were well balanced between their degree of organization and their robustness. However, they differed in their detailed features. The cockle field and the mussel bank exhibited a strong dependency on external imports. The razor clam field appeared to be a rather small system with low energy transfer. In the mud flat microphytobenthos was used as a main food source and the system appeared to be sensitive to perturbations. Bird predation was the most pronounced in the sand flat and the seagrass meadow and led to an increase in energy transfer and parallel trophic cycles in these habitats. Habitat diversity appears to be an important trait for the Wadden Sea as each subsystem seems to have a specific role in the overall functioning of the entire ecosystem.
Habitat-based frameworks have been proposed for developing Ecological Production Functions (EPFs) to describe the spatial distribution of ecosystem services. As proof of concept, we generated EPFs that compared bird use patterns among intertidal benthic habitats for Yaquina estu...
Barrow, Wylie C.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Randall, Lori A.; Pitre, John; Dudley, Kyle J.
This project was initiated to assess migrating and wintering bird use of lands enrolled in the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI). The MBHI program was developed in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, with the goal of improving/creating habitat for waterbirds affected by the spill. In collaboration with the University of Delaware (UDEL), we used weather surveillance radar data (Sieges 2014), portable marine radar data, thermal infrared images, and visual observations to assess bird use of MBHI easements. Migrating and wintering birds routinely make synchronous flights near dusk (e.g., departure during migration, feeding flights during winter). Weather radars readily detect birds at the onset of these flights and have proven to be useful remote sensing tools for assessing bird-habitat relations during migration and determining the response of wintering waterfowl to wetland restoration (e.g., Wetlands Reserve Program lands). However, ground-truthing is required to identify radar echoes to species or species group. We designed a field study to ground-truth a larger-scale, weather radar assessment of bird use of MBHI sites in southwest Louisiana. We examined seasonal bird use of MBHI fields in fall, winter, and spring of 2011-2012. To assess diurnal use, we conducted total area surveys of MBHI sites in the afternoon, collecting data on bird species composition, abundance, behavior, and habitat use. In the evenings, we quantified bird activity at the MBHI easements and described flight behavior (i.e., birds landing in, departing from, circling, or flying over the MBHI tract). Our field sampling captured the onset of evening flights and spanned the period of collection of the weather radar data analyzed. Pre- and post-dusk surveys were conducted using a portable radar system and a thermal infrared camera. Landbirds, shorebirds, and wading birds were commonly found on MBHI fields during diurnal
Wilson, T.L.; Johnson, E.J.; Bissonette, J.A.
There is debate among ecologists about whether total habitat area or patch arrangement contributes most to population and/or community responses to fragmented or patchy landscapes. We tested the relative effects of patch area and isolation for predicting bird occurrence in a naturally patchy landscape in the Bear River Mountains of Northern Utah, USA. We selected focal patches (mountain meadows) ranging in elevation from 1,920 to 2,860 m and in size from 0.6 to 182 ha. Breeding birds were sampled in each focal meadow during the summers of 2003 and 2004 using variable-distance point transects. Logistic regression and likelihood-based model selection were used to determine the relationship between likelihood of occurrence of three bird species (Brewer's sparrow, vesper sparrow, and white-crowned sparrow) and area, isolation, and proximity metrics. We used model weights and model-averaged confidence intervals to assess the importance of each predictor variable. Plots of area versus isolation were used to evaluate complex relationships between the variables. We found that meadow area was the most important variable for explaining occurrence for two species, and that isolation was the most important for the other. We also found that the absolute distance was more appropriate for evaluating isolation responses than was the species-specific proximity metric. Our findings add clarity to the debate between ecologists regarding the relative importance of area and isolation in species responses to patchy landscapes.
Full Text Available There is a lack of data on the population densities of birds breeding in a mosaic of typical urbanized habitats. This study was undertaken to partly fulfil this gap in our knowledge. Counts were conducted in 2008 by means of simplified territory mapping method in a fragment (1197 ha of a large Central European city (Wrocław, SW Poland. In total, 50 bird species were breeding in the study area in 2008. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus, Common Swift Apus apus and Rock Dove comprised about 3/5 of all breeding pairs. The other group of species, each one with a density between 6 and 13 pairs per 100 ha, included seven species, namely the Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, Greenfinch, Carduelis chloris, House Martin, Delichon urbica, Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, Great Tit, Parus major, Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus, and Jackdaw, Corvus monedula. They comprised together about 1/5. The remaining 40 species nested in a density between 0.1 and 3.5 pairs per 100 ha. The most numerous feeding guild were granivores (53.8% and insectivores (37.9 %. Birds nesting on buildings comprised together 74 % of all breeding pairs. For a few species (Luscinia megarhynchos, Saxicola torquata, Corvus cornix and Turdus pilaris an increase in their numbers in the last three decades has been evidenced.
Lor, S.; Malecki, R.A.
Nesting habitats and nest success of five species of marsh birds were studied during 1997 and 1998 at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the adjacent Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) located in western New York. Nest searches located 18 American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), 117 Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), 189 Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), 23 Sora (Porzana carolina), and 72 Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) nests. Average nest densities in 1998, our best nest searching year, ranged from 0.01/ha for Soras (N = 8) to 0.28/ha for Pied-billed Grebes (N = 160). Mayfield nest success estimates for Least Bittern were 80% (N = 16) in 1997 and 46% (N = 37) in 1998. Nest success estimates were 72% (N = 55) for Pied-billed Grebe, 43% (N = 6) for Sora, and 38% (N = 20) for Virginia Rail. Nests of all five species were located in ???70% emergent vegetation with a mean water depth of 24-56 cm and an average vegetation height that ranged from 69-133 cm. Logistic regression models were developed for each species using habitat variables at nest and random site locations. Each model was ranked with Akaike's Information Criterion for small sample size (AICc). In general, our best models indicated that increased emergent vegetation and horizontal cover with shallow water depths improved the odds of encountering marsh bird nests in the wetlands of western New York. We suggest that managing wetlands as a complex, at different stages of succession, would best benefit marsh bird species.
Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.; Grace, James B.; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Leu, Matthias
Piñon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands have been expanding their range across the intermountain western United States into landscapes dominated by sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) shrublands. Management actions using prescribed fire and mechanical cutting to reduce woodland cover and control expansion provided opportunities to understand how environmental structure and changes due to these treatments influence bird communities in piñon-juniper systems. We surveyed 43 species of birds and measured vegetation for 1–3 years prior to treatment and 6–7 years post-treatment at 13 locations across Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. We used structural equation modeling to develop and statistically test our conceptual model that the current bird assembly at a site is structured primarily by the previous bird community with additional drivers from current and surrounding habitat conditions as well as external regional bird dynamics. Treatment reduced woodland cover by >5% at 80 of 378 survey sites. However, habitat change achieved by treatment was highly variable because actual disturbance differed widely in extent and intensity. Biological inertia in the bird community was the strongest single driver; 72% of the variation in the bird assemblage was explained by the community that existed seven years earlier. Greater net reduction in woodlands resulted in slight shifts in the bird community to one having ecotone or shrubland affinities. However, the overall influence of woodland changes from treatment were relatively small and were buffered by other extrinsic factors. Regional bird dynamics did not significantly influence the structure of local bird communities at our sites. Our results suggest that bird communities in piñon-juniper woodlands can be highly stable when management treatments are conducted in areas with more advanced woodland development and at the level of disturbance measured in our study.
Lindegarth, M; Chapman, M G
The level of water was manipulated in a freshwater wetland, with the aim of enhancing abundances of benthic animals and, ultimately, improving habitat for feeding birds (Japanese Snipe, Gallinago hardwickii). We tested whether these actions had the predicted and desired effects on benthic animals, by contrasting changes in two managed locations to one control location which was left unmanipulated. The number of taxa and abundances of chironomids decreased strongly and significantly in the manipulated locations, while the abundance of oligochaetes appeared to vary in a seasonal manner. Temporal variability of the structure and composition of assemblages was also increased in manipulated locations. Such effects have previously been suggested to indicate stress in benthic assemblages. Therefore, in contrast to what was predicted, managerial actions made benthic fauna less abundant and thus, less suitable as habitat for feeding birds. Several general lessons can be learned from these results. (1) Effects of managerial actions like these are difficult to predict a priori and can only be reliably evaluated with an experimental framework. (2) Because abundances of animals vary naturally, evaluations of managerial actions must include appropriate spatial replication. (3) Sampling at hierarchical temporal scales is important, because abundances of animals may vary in an unpredictable manner at short temporal scales and because changes in temporal variability may be a symptom of stress. (4) Combined use of uni- and multivariate techniques provides a comprehensive set of tools to assess the effects of restoration and creation of new habitats. Finally, these results emphasise the need for clear predictions about desired outcomes and specific experimental plans about how to test whether the desired results were achieved, before managerial actions are taken. Although this is often very difficult to achieve in real situations, it is necessary for practices of management to evolve
Thogmartin, W.E.; Potter, B.; Soulliere, G.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's adoption of Strategic Habitat Conservation is intended to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of conservation delivery by targeting effort in areas where biological benefits are greatest. Conservation funding has not often been allocated in accordance with explicit biological endpoints, and the gap between conservation design (the identification of conservation priority areas) and delivery needs to be bridged to better meet conservation goals for multiple species and landscapes. We introduce a regional prioritization scheme for North American Wetlands Conservation Act funding which explicitly addresses Midwest regional goals for wetland-dependent birds. We developed decision-support maps to guide conservation of breeding and non-breeding wetland bird habitat. This exercise suggested ~55% of the Midwest consists of potential wetland bird habitat, and areas suited for maintenance (protection) were distinguished from those most suited to restoration. Areas with greater maintenance focus were identified for central Minnesota, southeastern Wisconsin, the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers, and the shore of western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay. The shores of Lakes Michigan and Superior accommodated fewer waterbird species overall, but were also important for wetland bird habitat maintenance. Abundant areas suited for wetland restoration occurred in agricultural regions of central Illinois, western Iowa, and northern Indiana and Ohio. Use of this prioritization scheme can increase effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, and credibility to land and water conservation efforts for wetland birds in the Midwestern United States.
Pomara, Lars Y; Cooper, Robert J; Petit, Lisa J
We examined the importance of mixed-species flock abundance, individual bird home range size, foraging height, and foraging patch characteristics in predicting the propensity for five Neotropical passerine bird species (Slaty Antwren, Myrmotherula schisticolor; Golden-crowned Warbler, Basileuterus culicivorus; Slate-throated Redstart, Myioborus miniatus; Wilson's Warbler, Wilsonia pusilla; and Black-and-white Warbler, Mniotilta varia) to forage within flocks, rather than solitarily. We used study plots in primary mid-elevation forest and in shade coffee fields in western Panama. We expected that all species would spend as much time as possible flocking, but that the social and environmental factors listed above would limit compatibility between flock movements and individual bird movements, explaining variability in flocking propensity both within and among species. Flocking propensity was well predicted by home range size and flock abundance together, for four of the five species. While flock abundance was uniform across plots, home range sizes varied among species and plots, so that home range size appeared to be the principle factor limiting flocking propensity. Estimates of flock abundance were still required, however, for calculating flocking propensity values. Foraging height and patch characteristics slightly improved predictive ability for the remaining species, M. miniatus. In general, individual birds tended to join flocks whenever one was available inside their home range, regardless of a flock's specific location within the home range. Flocking propensities of individual species were lower in shade coffee fields than in forests, and probably vary across landscapes with variations in habitat. This variability affects the stability and species composition of flocks, and may affect survival rates of individual species.
Virkkala, Raimo; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Fronzek, Stefan; Leikola, Niko
National reserve networks are one of the most important means of species conservation, but their efficiency may be diminished due to the projected climatic changes. Using bioclimatic envelope models and spatial data on habitats and conservation areas, we studied how efficient the reserve network will be in preserving 100 forest, mire, marshland, and alpine bird species of conservation concern in Finland in 2051–2080 under three different climate scenarios. The occurrences of the studied bird species were related to the amount of habitat preferred by each species in the different boreal zones. We employed a novel integrated habitat suitability index that takes into account both the species’ probability of occurrence from the bioclimatic models and the availability of suitable habitat. Using this suitability index, the distribution of the topmost 5% suitability squares (“hotspots”) in the four bird species groups in the period 1971–2000 and under the three scenarios were compared with the location of reserves with the highest amounts of the four habitats to study the efficiency of the network. In species of mires, marshlands, and Arctic mountains, a high proportion of protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots in the scenarios in 2051–2080, showing that protected areas cover a high proportion of occurrences of bird species. In contrast, in forests in the southern and middle boreal zones, only a small proportion of the protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots, indicating that the efficiency of the protected area network will be insufficient for forest birds in the future. In the northern boreal zone, the efficiency of the reserve network in forests was highly dependent on the strength of climate change varying between the scenarios. Overall, there is no single solution to preserving biodiversity in a changing climate, but several future pathways should be considered. PMID:23700420
Full Text Available This study was aimed at preparing an inventory of the avifauna and to document the species composition of birds during winter in different habitat types of Rosekandy Tea Estate of Cachar District of Assam. Four habitat types, viz., tea plantation, ecotone zone, secondary growth forest and water bodies were selected within the tea estate and surveyed from mid-December 2010 (early winter to mid-April 2011 (late winter covering four months of survey. A total of 88 species were recorded during the survey period with the highest number of species in ecotone zone (n=63, followed by secondary forest (n=60, tea plantation (n=48 and water bodies (n=17. The species were further categorized into different feeding and habitat guilds to study the distribution of bird species in different habitat types according to various guilds.
Vepsaelaeinen, Ville [Finnish Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 17, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki (Finland)
Here, I present the first comparison of the abundance of farmland birds in energy grass fields and in cereal-dominated conventionally cultivated fields (CCFs). I demonstrate that in boreal farmland, skylark (Alauda arvensis) densities were significantly lower in reed canary grass (RCG) (Phalaris arundinacea) fields than in CCFs. I found that during the early breeding season RCG fields and CCFs are equally good habitats, but over the ensuing couple of weeks RCG rapidly grows too tall and dense for field-nesting species. Consequently, RCG is an inferior habitat for skylark for laying replacement clutches (after failure of first nesting) or for a second clutch after one successful nesting. The results imply that if RCG cultivation is to be expanded, the establishment of large monocultures should be avoided in farmland landscapes; otherwise the novel habitat may affect detrimentally the seriously depleted skylark population, and probably also other field-nesting bird species with similar breeding habitats. (author)
Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E
In many parts of the neotropics, the original habitats are rapidly changing because of excessive logging, agriculture and livestock activity, with an often negative impact on bird communities. I present an analysis of the diversity and richness of birds in a fragmented landscape of the Central Chiapas Depression. Fieldwork was conducted from February 2003 to January 2004. Using point counts, a total of 35 families and 225 bird species were registered (164 residents and 61 migratory); 3% are abundant and 30% rare. Diversity, species richness and number of individuals were significantly higher in tropical deciduous forest (H'=3.41, 178 species ANOVA pbirds species in the study area.
J. Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi
Full Text Available A survey on birds was conducted at St. Coombs Tea Estate, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka with the objective of assessing the avifaunal diversity of a given tea plantation ecosystem. Bird populations were sampled in man-made habitats such as home garden, wetland, tea plantation, Eucalyptus plantation and small scale reservoir. Hundred-and-twenty counts were made for each habitat and in addition, activities of birds, feeding habits and food recourses were also observed. A total of 87 species, including 11 endemic and 11 migrant species of birds, was recorded, which included one globally threatened species, Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra and 16 nationally threatened species. A majority of the bird species were observed in home gardens (75%, followed by reservoirs (57%, wetlands (48%, tea plantations (43% and in Eucalyptus plantations (23%. Home gardens support bird diversity while the species richness of endemic bird species increases thereby enabling these findings to be used as guidelines in long term conservational practices. Several conservation measures such as increasing plant diversity, introduction of shade trees and prevention of fire are recommended to conserve and enhance avifaunal diversity in tea plantations.
Vikolainen, Vera; Bressers, Hans; Lulofs, Kris
The implementation of the EU Bird and Habitat Directives by the ports and dredging industry caused severe project disruptions across North-West Europe in the past. The prevalence of negative experience triggered a new approach, which aims to integrate site-specific ecosystem characteristics and
...] RIN 1018-AX45 Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Draft Land-Based Wind... Impacts from Wind Turbines (Interim Guidance). As stated in the notice, the comment period on the draft... Minimizing Wildlife Impacts from Wind Turbines. We expect to issue final Guidelines for public use after...
...] RIN 1018-AX45 Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Final Land-Based Wind...) established the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee (Committee) under the Federal Advisory Committee... concern over certain issues such as the effects of wind turbine noise on wildlife, these issues have not...
Verschuuren, J.M.; Laursen, K.
Almost the entire Wadden Sea area has been designated by Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands as a Special Protection Area under the Wild Birds Directive and as a Special Area of Conservation under the Habitats Directive. The new Water Framework Directive will, eventually, also have consequences for
Moens, Michaël A J; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Paca, Anahi; Bonaccorso, Elisa; Aguirre, Nikolay; Pérez-Tris, Javier
Understanding how parasites fill their ecological niches requires information on the processes involved in the colonization and exploitation of unique host species. Switching to hosts with atypical attributes may favour generalists broadening their niches or may promote specialization and parasite diversification as the consequence. We analysed which blood parasites have successfully colonized hummingbirds, and how they have evolved to exploit such a unique habitat. We specifically asked (i) whether the assemblage of Haemoproteus parasites of hummingbirds is the result of single or multiple colonization events, (ii) to what extent these parasites are specialized in hummingbirds or shared with other birds and (iii) how hummingbirds contribute to sustain the populations of these parasites, in terms of both prevalence and infection intensity. We sampled 169 hummingbirds of 19 species along an elevation gradient in Southern Ecuador to analyse the host specificity, diversity and infection intensity of Haemoproteus by molecular and microscopy techniques. In addition, 736 birds of 112 species were analysed to explore whether hummingbird parasites are shared with other birds. Hummingbirds hosted a phylogenetically diverse assemblage of generalist Haemoproteus lineages shared with other host orders. Among these parasites, Haemoproteus witti stood out as the most generalized. Interestingly, we found that infection intensities of this parasite were extremely low in passerines (with no detectable gametocytes), but very high in hummingbirds, with many gametocytes seen. Moreover, infection intensities of H. witti were positively correlated with the prevalence across host species. Our results show that hummingbirds have been colonized by generalist Haemoproteus lineages on multiple occasions. However, one of these generalist parasites (H. witti) seems to be highly dependent on hummingbirds, which arise as the most relevant reservoirs in terms of both prevalence and
Singh, Minerva; Tokola, Timo; Hou, Zhengyang; Notarnicola, Claudia
Avian species persistence in a forest patch is strongly related to the degree of isolation and size of a forest patch and the vegetation structure within a patch and its matrix are important predictors of bird habitat suitability. A combination of space-borne optical (Landsat), ALOS-PALSAR (radar), and airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data was used for assessing variation in forest structure across forest patches that had undergone different levels of forest degradation in a logged forest-agricultural landscape in Southern Laos. The efficacy of different remote sensing (RS) data sources in distinguishing forest patches that had different seizes, configurations, and vegetation structure was examined. These data were found to be sensitive to the varying levels of degradation of the different patch categories. Additionally, the role of local scale forest structure variables (characterized using the different RS data and patch area) and landscape variables (characterized by distance from different forest patches) in influencing habitat preferences of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red listed birds found in the study area was examined. A machine learning algorithm, MaxEnt, was used in conjunction with these data and field collected geographical locations of the avian species to identify the factors influencing habitat preference of the different bird species and their suitable habitats. Results show that distance from different forest patches played a more important role in influencing habitat suitability for the different avian species than local scale factors related to vegetation structure and health. In addition to distance from forest patches, LiDAR-derived forest structure and Landsat-derived spectral variables were important determinants of avian habitat preference. The models derived using MaxEnt were used to create an overall habitat suitability map (HSM) which mapped the most suitable habitat patches for sustaining all the
Rolland, C; Danchin, E; de Fraipont, M
Coloniality in birds has been intensively studied under the cost and benefit approach, but no general conclusion can be given concerning its evolutionary function. Here, we report on a comparative analysis carried out on 320 species of birds using the general method of comparative analysis for discrete variables and the contrast method to analyze the evolution of coloniality. Showing a mean of 23 convergences and 10 reversals, coloniality appears to be a rather labile trait. Colonial breeding appears strongly correlated with the absence of feeding territory, the aquatic habitat, and nest exposure to predators but was not correlated with changes in life-history traits (body mass and clutch size). The correlation of coloniality with the aquatic habitat is in fact explained by a strong correlation with the marine habitat. Unexpectedly, we found that the evolution toward a marine habitat in birds was contingent on coloniality and that coloniality evolved before the passage to a marine life. These results-along with the lack of transitions from the nonmarine to marine habitat in solitary species and the precedence of the loss of feeding territoriality on the passage to a marine life-contradict most of the hypotheses classically accepted to explain coloniality and suggest that we use a different framework to study this evolutionary enigma.
Dinesh BHATT, Kamal Kant JOSHI
Full Text Available The Indian subcontinent is amongst the biologically better known parts of the tropics and its bird fauna has been well documented. However, avian community composition and diversity along elevational gradients and amongst habitat types remains unclear in India. We attempted to estimate bird assemblages in terms of diversity, species composition, status and abundance in urban and forest habitats of Nainital district of Uttarakhand (350–2450 m asl; 29°N, Western Himalayas. We sampled different elevational gradients and to understand the effect of urbanization and season on avian community composition. Field studies were conducted during January 2005 to January 2007. Results indicated that the forest had more complex bird community structure in terms of higher species richness (14.35 vs 8.69, higher species diversity (Shannon’s index 4.00 vs 3.54, higher evenness (0.838 vs 0.811 and more rare species (17 vs 5 as compared to urban habitat. However, the abundance of 11 species was higher in urban habitats. Bird Species Richness (BSR varied considerably among study areas (91 to 113 species, was highest (113 species at mid elevation (1450–1700 m asl and decreased (22 species at high elevation (1900–2450 m asl. It seems that high BSR at mid altitudes is not caused by the presence of a group of mid altitude specialists but rather that there is an overlap in the distribution of low land and high elevation specialists at this altitude. BSR and Bird Species Diversity fluctuated across seasons but not habitat type [Current Zoology 57 (3: 318–329, 2011].
Whytock, Robin C; Fuentes-Montemayor, Elisa; Watts, Kevin; Barbosa De Andrade, Patanjaly; Whytock, Rory T; French, Paul; Macgregor, Nicholas A; Park, Kirsty J
Ecosystem function and resilience are compromised when habitats become fragmented due to land-use change. This has led to national and international conservation strategies aimed at restoring habitat extent and improving functional connectivity (i.e., maintaining dispersal processes). However, biodiversity responses to landscape-scale habitat creation and the relative importance of spatial and temporal scales are poorly understood, and there is disagreement over which conservation strategies should be prioritized. We used 160 years of historic post-agricultural woodland creation as a natural experiment to evaluate biodiversity responses to habitat creation in a landscape context. Birds were surveyed in 101 secondary, broadleaf woodlands aged 10-160 years with ≥80% canopy cover and in landscapes with 0-17% broadleaf woodland cover within 3000 m. We used piecewise structural equation modeling to examine the direct and indirect relationships between bird abundance and diversity, ecological continuity, patch characteristics, and landscape structure and quantified the relative conservation value of local and landscape scales for bird communities. Ecological continuity indirectly affected overall bird abundance and species richness through its effects on stand structure, but had a weaker influence (effect size near 0) on the abundance and diversity of species most closely associated with woodland habitats. This was probably because woodlands were rapidly colonized by woodland generalists in ≤10 years (minimum patch age) but were on average too young (median 50 years) to be colonized by woodland specialists. Local patch characteristics were relatively more important than landscape characteristics for bird communities. Based on our results, biodiversity responses to habitat creation depended on local- and landscape-scale factors that interacted across time and space. We suggest that there is a need for further studies that focus on habitat creation in a landscape
J. Ryan. Zimmerling
Full Text Available We estimated impacts on birds from the development and operation of wind turbines in Canada considering both mortality due to collisions and loss of nesting habitat. We estimated collision mortality using data from carcass searches for 43 wind farms, incorporating correction factors for scavenger removal, searcher efficiency, and carcasses that fell beyond the area searched. On average, 8.2 ± 1.4 birds (95% C.I. were killed per turbine per year at these sites, although the numbers at individual wind farms varied from 0 - 26.9 birds per turbine per year. Based on 2955 installed turbines (the number installed in Canada by December 2011, an estimated 23,300 birds (95% C.I. 20,000 - 28,300 would be killed from collisions with turbines each year. We estimated direct habitat loss based on data from 32 wind farms in Canada. On average, total habitat loss per turbine was 1.23 ha, which corresponds to an estimated total habitat loss due to wind farms nationwide of 3635 ha. Based on published estimates of nest density, this could represent habitat for ~5700 nests of all species. Assuming nearby habitats are saturated, and 2 adults displaced per nest site, effects of direct habitat loss are less than that of direct mortality. Installed wind capacity is growing rapidly, and is predicted to increase more than 10-fold over the next 10-15 years, which could lead to direct mortality of approximately 233,000 birds / year, and displacement of 57,000 pairs. Despite concerns about the impacts of biased correction factors on the accuracy of mortality estimates, these values are likely much lower than those from collisions with some other anthropogenic sources such as windows, vehicles, or towers, or habitat loss due to many other forms of development. Species composition data suggest that < 0.2% of the population of any species is currently affected by mortality or displacement from wind turbine development. Therefore, population level impacts are unlikely
Ryan Carnie; Daniele Tonina; Jim McKean; Daniel Isaak
Quality of fish habitat at the scale of a single fish, at the metre resolution, which we defined here as microhabitat, has been primarily evaluated on short reaches, and their results have been extended through long river segments with methods that do not account for connectivity, a measure of the spatial distribution of habitat patches. However, recent...
Full Text Available European agriculture is undergoing widespread changes that are likely to have profound impacts on farmland biodiversity. The development of tools that allow an assessment of the potential biodiversity effects of different land-use alternatives before changes occur is fundamental to guiding management decisions. In this study, we develop a resource-based model framework to estimate habitat suitability for target species, according to simple information on species' key resource requirements (diet, foraging habitat and nesting site, and examine whether it can be used to link land-use and local species' distribution. We take as a study case four steppe bird species in a lowland area of the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We also compare the performance of our resource-based approach to that obtained through habitat-based models relating species' occurrence and land-cover variables. Further, we use our resource-based approach to predict the effects that change in farming systems can have on farmland bird habitat suitability and compare these predictions with those obtained using the habitat-based models. Habitat suitability estimates generated by our resource-based models performed similarly (and better for one study species than habitat based-models when predicting current species distribution. Moderate prediction success was achieved for three out of four species considered by resource-based models and for two of four by habitat-based models. Although, there is potential for improving the performance of resource-based models, they provide a structure for using available knowledge of the functional links between agricultural practices, provision of key resources and the response of organisms to predict potential effects of changing land-uses in a variety of context or the impacts of changes such as altered management practices that are not easily incorporated into habitat-based models.
Michael J Whitehouse
Full Text Available Previous studies of the consequences for breeding birds of climate change have explored how their populations may respond to increasing temperatures. However, few have considered the likely outcome of predicted extreme conditions and the relative vulnerability of populations in different habitats. Here, we compare phenology and breeding success in great tits and blue tits over a 10 year period, including the extremely harsh conditions during spring 2012, at three sites in eastern England--mixed deciduous woodland, riparian and urban habitat. Production, measured as brood biomass, was significantly lower in 2012 compared with the previous 9 years, with the decrease in productivity relatively greatest in woodland habitat. Production was related to hatch delay, i.e. birds not initiating incubation immediately after clutch completion, which was more common in 2012 than in previous years. The best predictor of hatch delay was daytime temperature (not nighttime minimum temperature and rainfall, which convincingly reflected low growth and activity of caterpillar prey. We found that birds breeding in riparian and urban habitats were less vulnerable to the extremes of weather than those breeding in mixed deciduous woodland.
Full Text Available Research on variation in bill morphology has focused on the role of diet. Bills have other functions, however, including a role in heat and water balance. The role of the bill in heat loss may be particularly important in birds where water is limiting. Song sparrows localized in coastal dunes and salt marsh edge (Melospiza melodia atlantica are similar in size to, but have bills with a 17% greater surface area than, those that live in mesic habitats (M. m. melodia, a pattern shared with other coastal sparrows. We tested the hypotheses that sparrows can use their bills to dissipate "dry" heat, and that heat loss from the bill is higher in M. m. atlantica than M. m. melodia, which would indicate a role of heat loss and water conservation in selection for bill size.Bill, tarsus, and body surface temperatures were measured using thermal imaging of sparrows exposed to temperatures from 15-37°C and combined with surface area and physical modeling to estimate the contribution of each body part to total heat loss. Song sparrow bills averaged 5-10°C hotter than ambient. The bill of M. m atlantica dissipated up to 33% more heat and 38% greater proportion of total heat than that of M. m. melodia. This could potentially reduce water loss requirements by approximately 7.7%.This >30% higher heat loss in the bill of M. m. atlantica is independent of evaporative water loss and thus could play an important role in the water balance of sparrows occupying the hot and exposed dune/salt marsh environments during the summer. Heat loss capacity and water conservation could play an important role in the selection for bill size differences between bird populations and should be considered along with trophic adaptations when studying variation in bill size.
Fountain, Emily D; Kang, Jung Koo; Tempel, Douglas J; Palsbøll, Per J; Pauli, Jonathan N; Peery, M Zachariah
Understanding how habitat quality in heterogeneous landscapes governs the distribution and fitness of individuals is a fundamental aspect of ecology. While mean individual fitness is generally considered a key to assessing habitat quality, a comprehensive understanding of habitat quality in
Amos, Nevil; Harrisson, Katherine A; Radford, James Q; White, Matt; Newell, Graeme; Mac Nally, Ralph; Sunnucks, Paul; Pavlova, Alexandra
Loss of functional connectivity following habitat loss and fragmentation could drive species declines. A comprehensive understanding of fragmentation effects on functional connectivity of an ecological assemblage requires investigation of multiple species with different mobilities, at different spatial scales, for each sex, and in different landscapes. Based on published data on mobility and ecological responses to fragmentation of 10 woodland-dependent birds, and using simulation studies, we predicted that (1) fragmentation would impede dispersal and gene flow of eight "decliners" (species that disappear from suitable patches when landscape-level tree cover falls below species-specific thresholds), but not of two "tolerant" species (whose occurrence in suitable habitat patches is independent of landscape tree cover); and that fragmentation effects would be stronger (2) in the least mobile species, (3) in the more philopatric sex, and (4) in the more fragmented region. We tested these predictions by evaluating spatially explicit isolation-by-landscape-resistance models of gene flow in fragmented landscapes across a 50 x 170 km study area in central Victoria, Australia, using individual and population genetic distances. To account for sex-biased dispersal and potential scale- and configuration-specific effects, we fitted models specific to sex and geographic zones. As predicted, four of the least mobile decliners showed evidence of reduced genetic connectivity. The responses were strongly sex specific, but in opposite directions in the two most sedentary species. Both tolerant species and (unexpectedly) four of the more mobile decliners showed no reduction in gene flow. This is unlikely to be due to time lags because more mobile species develop genetic signatures of fragmentation faster than do less mobile ones. Weaker genetic effects were observed in the geographic zone with more aggregated vegetation, consistent with gene flow being unimpeded by landscape
Regnery, Baptiste; Couvet, Denis; Kerbiriou, Christian
Biodiversity offsets are intended to achieve no net loss of biodiversity due to economic and human development. A variety of biodiversity components are addressed by offset policies. It is required that loss of protected species due to development be offset under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives in Europe. We call this type of offset a species-equality offset because the offset pertains to the same species affected by the development project. Whether species equality can be achieved by offset design is unknown. We addressed this gap by reviewing derogation files (i.e., specific files that describe mitigation measures to ensure no net loss under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives) from 85 development projects in France (2009-2010). We collected information on type of effect (reversible vs. irreversible) and characteristics of affected and offset sites (i.e., types of species, total area). We analyzed how the type of effect and the affected-site characteristics influenced the occurrence of offset measures. The proportion of species targeted by offset measures (i.e., offset species) increased with the irreversibility of the effect of development and the conservation status of the species affected by development (i.e., affected species). Not all effects on endangered species (International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List) were offset; on average, 82% of affected species would be offset. Twenty-six percent of species of least concern were offset species. Thirty-five percent of development projects considered all affected species in their offset measures. Species richness was much lower in offset sites than in developed sites even after offset proposals. For developed areas where species richness was relatively high before development, species richness at offset sites was 5-10 times lower. The species-equality principle appears to have been applied only partially in offset policies, as in the EU directives. We suggest the application of this principle
Gomes, Verônica Souza da Mota; Correia, Maria Célia Rodrigues; de Lima, Heloisa Alves; Alves, Maria Alice S
Restingas are considered stressful habitats associated with the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and their ecological interactions are poorly known. The goal of the present study was to determine the potential role of frugivorous birds as seed dispersers in a restinga habitat. Data were collected in Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba, southeastern Brazil, where the main physiognomy (Open Clusia Formation) is characterized by the presence of patches of vegetation covering 20 to 48 % of the sandy soil and reaching a height of 5 m. Birds were captured with mist nets (12 x 2.5 m; 36 mm mesh; 1,680 net-hrs) and had their fecal and regurgitate samples inspected for seeds. Six plant species found in these bird samples were studied. The germination of seeds obtained from plants was compared to those from the birds. Both groups of seeds were set on Petri dishes at room temperature and washed when infected with fungi. In general, there was no effect on germination rate, and the effect on germination speed was negative. Germination of seeds from Pilosocereus arrabidae treated by the birds seemed to be influenced by storage of defecated seeds, while few Miconia cinnamomifolia seeds both from plants and from birds germinated. Ocotea notata presented a great variation in time to the onset of germination, perhaps an advantage against dissecation. Aechmea nudicaulis, Clusia hilariana and Erythroxylum subsessile probably take advantage of the arrival to favorable microhabitats, not by the gut effect on the seeds. All plant species studied are numerically important for the community and some of them are main actors in the succession of vegetation patches. Among the birds, Mimus gilvus is an important resident species, endemic to restingas in Brazil, while Turdus amaurochalinus is a visitor and may be important for plants that fructify during its passage by the study site. Although the effect of pulp removal was only tested for one species (Achmea nudicaulis) in the present study
Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping
Simple Summary The understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of the species habitats would facilitate wildlife resource management and conservation efforts. Existing methods have poor performance due to the limited availability of training samples. More recently, location-aware sensors have been widely used to track animal movements. The aim of the study was to generate suitability maps of bar-head geese using movement data coupled with environmental parameters, such as remote sensing images and temperature data. Therefore, we modified a deep convolutional neural network for the multi-scale inputs. The results indicate that the proposed method can identify the areas with the dense goose species around Qinghai Lake. In addition, this approach might also be interesting for implementation in other species with different niche factors or in areas where biological survey data are scarce. Abstract With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results
Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping
With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results indicated that our proposed method outperforms the existing baseline methods and was able to achieve good performance in habitat suitability prediction.
Jesus, Shayana DE; Pedro, Wagner A; Bispo, Arthur A
Understanding the factors that affect biodiversity is of central interest to ecology, and essential to species conservation and ecosystems management. We sampled bird communities in 17 forest fragments in the Cerrado biome, the Central-West region of Brazil. We aimed to know the communities structure pattern and the influence of geographical distance and environmental variables on them, along a gradient of fragmented habitats at both local and landscape scales. Eight structural variables of the fragments served as an environmental distance measurement at the local scale while five metrics served as an environmental distance measurement at the landscape scale. Species presence-absence data were used to calculate the dissimilarity index. Beta diversity was calculated using three indices (βsim, βnes and βsor), representing the spatial species turnover, nestedness and total beta diversity, respectively. Spatial species turnover was the predominant pattern in the structure of the communities. Variations in beta diversity were explained only by the environmental variables of the landscape with spatial configuration being more important than the composition. This fact indicates that, in Cerrado of Goiás avian communities structure, deterministic ecological processes associated to differences in species responses to landscape fragmentation are more important than stochastic processes driven by species dispersal.
.... The degree to which a given species is affected by habitat fragmentation is dependent on the complex interaction of the habitat requirements of the species and the shape, size, and makeup of the fragmented habitat...
Urban marine habitats are often utilized by wildlife for foraging and other activities despite surrounding anthropogenic impact or disturbance. However little is known of the ecological factors that determine habitat value of these and other remnant natural habitats. We examine...
Mueller, Thomas; Selva, Nuria; Cortes-Avizanda, Ainara; Lemus, Jesús Angel; Blanco, Guillermo; Heinrich, Bernd; Pugacewicz, Eugeniuz; Prins, Erik; Donázar, José A.
Many long-lived avian species adopt life strategies that involve a gregarious way of life at juvenile and sub-adult stages and territoriality during adulthood. However, the potential associated costs of these life styles, such as stress, are poorly understood. Likewise the effects of habitat quality on stress are not well understood. We examined the effects of group living, habitat quality, sex, and parasite load on the baseline concentration of faecal stress hormone (corticosterone) metaboli...
Species-rich tropical forests are becoming increasingly fragmented, degraded and are declining due ... of birds for subsistence use (10%) only affected certain bird species. The age ..... Rural-urban residence, modernism and fertility. A study of ...
LaGory, K.E.; Chang, Young-Soo; Chun, K.C.; Reeves, T.; Liebich, R.; Smith, K.
This report, conducted from May through July 2000, addressed the potential effect of compressor noise on breeding birds in gas-production areas administered by the FFO, specifically in the Rattlesnake Canyon Habitat Management Area northeast of Farmington, New Mexico. The study was designed to quantify and characterize noise output from these compressors and to determine if compressor noise affected bird populations in adjacent habitat during the breeding season.
Combrink, Leigh; Combrink, Hendrik J.; Botha, André J.; Downs, Colleen T.
Habitat features can have a profound effect on the nesting success of birds. Savannas are often managed with predators and large herbivores as priority species, with little thought to the many bird species that management decisions could affect. Using a data set spanning seven breeding seasons, we examined how nesting success of Southern Ground-hornbills (SGHs) Bucorvus leadbeateri in the Kruger National Park varied as a result of various environmental and habitat factors within a radius of 3...
Stephen N. Matthews; Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Matthew P. Peters
Mounting evidence shows that organisms have already begun to respond to global climate change. Advances in our knowledge of how climate shapes species distributional patterns has helped us better understand the response of birds to climate change. However, the distribution of birds across the landscape is also driven by biotic and abiotic components, including habitat...
Full Text Available Studies were carried out in 2010 by mean of simplified version of the mapping method. The study area (395 ha was located close to the city centre. It comprised a mosaic of urbanized habitats, with a clear dominance of green areas, such as parks (41.1 ha, gardens, cemeteries and tree clumps. A total of 48 breeding bird species were recorded in the whole study area. The most common (<25 pairs/100 ha were Passer domesticus, Passer montanus, Sturnus vulgaris, Parus caeruleus, Parus major, Apus apus and Columba livia. Numerous (7-15 pairs/100 ha were also the following species: Columba palumbus, Turdus pilaris, Sylvia atricapilla, Serinus serinus, Turdus merula and Pica pica. Insectivorous birds were the most common birds constituting 63.3%, and granivorous -32.6% of all pairs recorded. Most birds nested in tree holes (39.3%, in/on buildings (30.2% and in trees/shrubs (25.6%. Distribution of breeding pairs of 23 bird species was presented on maps. Population trends for 17 species were documented. Rapid increase in numbers of Turdus pilaris, Corvus cornix and Phoenicurus phoenicurus and decrease of Pica pica were recorded.
Salt marshes are valuable resources, which provide numerous ecosystem services, including flood protection, fish nursery habitat, and nesting habitat for a number of threatened and endangered species. At the present time, due primarily to coastal development and sea level rise,...
Bjørneraas, Kari; Herfindal, Ivar; Solberg, Erling Johan; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; van Moorter, Bram; Rolandsen, Christer Moe
Identifying factors shaping variation in resource selection is central for our understanding of the behaviour and distribution of animals. We examined summer habitat selection and space use by 108 Global Positioning System (GPS)-collared moose in Norway in relation to sex, reproductive status, habitat quality, and availability. Moose selected habitat types based on a combination of forage quality and availability of suitable habitat types. Selection of protective cover was strongest for reproducing females, likely reflecting the need to protect young. Males showed strong selection for habitat types with high quality forage, possibly due to higher energy requirements. Selection for preferred habitat types providing food and cover was a positive function of their availability within home ranges (i.e. not proportional use) indicating functional response in habitat selection. This relationship was not found for unproductive habitat types. Moreover, home ranges with high cover of unproductive habitat types were larger, and smaller home ranges contained higher proportions of the most preferred habitat type. The distribution of moose within the study area was partly related to the distribution of different habitat types. Our study shows how distribution and availability of habitat types providing cover and high-quality food shape ungulate habitat selection and space use.
McLaren, J.D.; Buler, J.J.; Schreckengost, T.; Smolinsky, J.A.; Boone, M.; van Loon, E.E.; Dawson, D.K.; Walters, E.L.
With many of the world's migratory bird populations in alarming decline, broad-scale assessments of responses to migratory hazards may prove crucial to successful conservation efforts. Most birds migrate at night through increasingly light-polluted skies. Bright light sources can attract airborne
Møller, Anders Pape; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Rudolfsen, Geir
Background Following the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, large amounts of radionuclides were emitted and spread in the environment. Animals living in such contaminated areas are predicted to suffer fitness costs including reductions in the quality and quantity of gametes. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied whether aspermy and sperm quality were affected by radioactive contamination by examining ejaculates from wild caught birds breeding in areas varying in background radiation level by more than three orders of magnitude around Chernobyl, Ukraine. The frequency of males with aspermy increased logarithmically with radiation level. While 18.4% of males from contaminated areas had no sperm that was only the case for 3.0% of males from uncontaminated control areas. Furthermore, there were negative relationships between sperm quality as reflected by reduced sperm velocity and motility, respectively, and radiation. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that radioactive contamination around Chernobyl affects sperm production and quality. We are the first to report an interspecific difference in sperm quality in relation to radioactive contamination. PMID:24963711
Verônica Souza da Mota Gomes
Full Text Available Restingas are considered stressful habitats associated with the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and their ecological interactions are poorly known. The goal of the present study was to determine the potential role of frugivorous birds as seed dispersers in a restinga habitat. Data were collected in Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba, southeastern Brazil, where the main physiognomy (Open Clusia Formation is characterized by the presence of patches of vegetation covering 20 to 48 % of the sandy soil and reaching a height of 5 m. Birds were captured with mist nets (12 x 2.5 m; 36 mm mesh; 1 680 net-hrs and had their fecal and regurgitate samples inspected for seeds. Six plant species found in these bird samples were studied. The germination of seeds obtained from plants was compared to those from the birds. Both groups of seeds were set on Petri dishes at room temperature and washed when infected with fungi. In general, there was no effect on germination rate, and the effect on germination speed was negative. Germination of seeds from Pilosocereus arrabidae treated by the birds seemed to be influenced by storage of defecated seeds, while few Miconia cinnamomifolia seeds both from plants and from birds germinated. Ocotea notata presented a great variation in time to the onset of germination, perhaps an advantage against dissecation. Aechmea nudicaulis, Clusia hilariana and Erythroxylum subsessile probably take advantage of the arrival to favorable microhabitats, not by the gut effect on the seeds. All plant species studied are numerically important for the community and some of them are main actors in the succession of vegetation patches. Among the birds, Mimus gilvus is an important resident species, endemic to restingas in Brazil, while Turdus amaurochalinus is a visitor and may be important for plants that fructify during its passage by the study site. Although the effect of pulp removal was only tested for one species (Achmea nudicaulis in the
Camp, Richard J.; Gorresen, P. Marcos
This report was commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The purpose was to develop a monitoring program for Kaua`i forest birds in the USFWS Strategic Habitat Conservation and adaptive management frameworks. Monitoring within those frameworks is a tool to assess resource responses to management and conservation actions, and through an iterative learning process improve our understanding of species recovery, effective management, and knowledge gaps. This report provides only the monitoring component of both frameworks, and we apply the monitoring program to the East Alaka`i Protective Fence Project.
Kim, Jin-Yong; Lee, Sanghun; Shin, Man-Seok; Lee, Chang-Hoon; Seo, Changwan; Eo, Soo Hyung
Altitudinal patterns in the population ecology of mountain bird species are useful for predicting species occurrence and behavior. Numerous hypotheses about the complex interactions among environmental factors have been proposed; however, these still remain controversial. This study aimed to identify the altitudinal patterns in breeding bird species richness or density and to test the hypotheses that climate, habitat heterogeneity (horizontal and vertical), and heterospecific attraction in a temperate forest, South Korea. We conducted a field survey of 142 plots at altitudes between 200 and 1,400 m a.s.l in the breeding season. A total of 2,771 individuals from 53 breeding bird species were recorded. Altitudinal patterns of species richness and density showed a hump-shaped pattern, indicating that the highest richness and density could be observed at moderate altitudes. Models constructed with 13 combinations of six variables demonstrated that species richness was positively correlated with vertical and horizontal habitat heterogeneity. Density was positively correlated with vertical, but not horizontal habitat heterogeneity, and negatively correlated with migratory bird ratio. No significant relationships were found between spring temperature and species richness or density. Therefore, the observed patterns in species richness support the hypothesis that habitat heterogeneity, rather than climate, is the main driver of species richness. Also, neither habitat heterogeneity nor climate hypotheses fully explains the observed patterns in density. However, vertical habitat heterogeneity does likely help explain observed patterns in density. The heterospecific attraction hypothesis did not apply to the distribution of birds along the altitudinal gradient. Appropriate management of vertical habitat heterogeneity, such as vegetation cover, should be maintained for the conservation of bird diversity in this area.
Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd
Bird surveys were conducted in the Bukit Kepala Gajah limestone area in Lenggong, Perak from July 2010 to January 2011. The study area was divided into three zones: forest edge, forest intermediate and forest interior. A point-count distance sampling method was used in the bird surveys. The study recorded 7789 detections, representing 100 bird species belonging to 28 families. Pycnonotidae, Timaliidae and Nectariniidae were the dominant families overall and showed the highest number of observations recorded in the study area whereas Motacillidae showed the fewest observations. The bird species were grouped into three feeding guilds: insectivores, frugivores and others (omnivores, carnivores, nectarivores and granivores). The species richness of insectivorous birds differed significantly among the forest zones sampled (Kruskal-Wallis: α=0.05, H=10.979, d.f.=2, p=0.004), with more insectivorous birds occurring in the forest interior. No significant differences were found among the zones in the species richness of either the frugivore guild or the composite others guild.
Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell; Bichier, Peter; Barber, Nicholas A; Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S
Insectivorous birds reduce arthropod abundances and their damage to plants in some, but not all, studies where predation by birds has been assessed. The variation in bird effects may be due to characteristics such as plant productivity or quality, habitat complexity, and/or species diversity of predator and prey assemblages. Since agroforestry systems vary in such characteristics, these systems provide a good starting point for understanding when and where we can expect predation by birds to be important. We analyze data from bird exclosure studies in forests and agroforestry systems to ask whether birds consistently reduce their arthropod prey base and whether bird predation differs between forests and agroforestry systems. Further, we focus on agroforestry systems to ask whether the magnitude of bird predation (1) differs between canopy trees and understory plants, (2) differs when migratory birds are present or absent, and (3) correlates with bird abundance and diversity. We found that, across all studies, birds reduce all arthropods, herbivores, carnivores, and plant damage. We observed no difference in the magnitude of bird effects between agroforestry systems and forests despite simplified habitat structure and plant diversity in agroforests. Within agroforestry systems, bird reduction of arthropods was greater in the canopy than the crop layer. Top-down effects of bird predation were especially strong during censuses when migratory birds were present in agroforestry systems. Importantly, the diversity of the predator assemblage correlated with the magnitude of predator effects; where the diversity of birds, especially migratory birds, was greater, birds reduced arthropod densities to a greater extent. We outline potential mechanisms for relationships between bird predator, insect prey, and habitat characteristics, and we suggest future studies using tropical agroforests as a model system to further test these areas of ecological theory.
Kastner, Brandi; Christensen, Victoria G.; Williamson, Tanja N.; Sanocki, Chris A.
The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is home to more than 50% of the migratory waterfowl in North America. Although the PPR provides an abundance of temporary and permanent wetlands for nesting and feeding, increases in commodity prices and agricultural drainage practices have led to a trend of wetland drainage. The Northern Shoveler is a migratory dabbling duck species that uses wetland habitats and cultivated croplands in the PPR. Richland County in North Dakota and Roberts County in South Dakota have an abundance of wetlands and croplands and were chosen as the study areas for this research to assess the wetland size and cultivated cropland in relation to hydrologic soil groups for the Northern Shoveler habitat. This study used geographic information system data to analyze Northern Shoveler habitats in association with Natural Resource Conservation Service soil data. Habitats, which are spatially associated with certain hydrologic soil groups, may be at risk of artificial drainage installations because of their proximity to cultivated croplands and soil lacking in natural drainage that may become wet or inundated. Findings indicate that most wetlands that are part of Northern Shoveler habitats were within or adjacent to cultivated croplands. The results also revealed soil hydrologic groups with high runoff potential and low water transmission rates account for most of the soil within the Northern Shoveler‘s wetland and cropland habitats. Habitats near agriculture with high runoff potential are likely to be drained and this has the potential of reducing Northern Shoveler habitat.
Endemic species are most closely dependent on continuous forest cover. However, some montane species did not show any clear habitat associations and thus can be viewed as local habitat generalists. This study shows that many restricted-range species (including endangered endemics) are able to live in fragmented ...
DAVE CURRIE; JOSEPH M. WUNDERLE JR.; DAVID N. EWERT; MATTHEW R. ANDERSON; ANCILLENO DAVIS; JASMINE TURNER
We studied winter avian distribution in three representative pine-dominated habitats and three broadleaf habitats in an area recently designated as a National Park on Andros Island, The Bahamas, 1-23 February 2002. During 180 five-minute point counts, 1731 individuals were detected (1427 permanent residents and 304 winter residents) representing 51 species (29...
Kleist, Nathan J; Guralnick, Robert P; Cruz, Alexander; Francis, Clinton D
Birds breeding in heterogeneous landscapes select nest sites by cueing in on a variety of factors from landscape features and social information to the presence of natural enemies. We focus on determining the relative impact of anthropogenic noise on nest site occupancy, compared to amount of forest cover, which is known to strongly influence the selection process. We examine chronic, industrial noise from natural gas wells directly measured at the nest box as well as site-averaged noise, using a well-established field experimental system in northwestern New Mexico. We hypothesized that high levels of noise, both at the nest site and in the environment, would decrease nest box occupancy. We set up nest boxes using a geospatially paired control and experimental site design and analyzed four years of occupancy data from four secondary cavity-nesting birds common to the Colorado Plateau. We found different effects of noise and landscape features depending on species, with strong effects of noise observed in breeding habitat selection of Myiarchus cinerascens, the Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Sialia currucoides, the Mountain Bluebird. In contrast, the amount of forest cover less frequently explained habitat selection for those species or had a smaller standardized effect than the acoustic environment. Although forest cover characterization and management is commonly employed by natural resource managers, our results show that characterizing and managing the acoustic environment should be an important tool in protected area management. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.
Michelle A Labbe
Full Text Available Many species of mature forest-nesting birds ("forest birds" undergo a pronounced shift in habitat use during the post-fledging period and move from their forest nesting sites into areas of early-successional vegetation. Mortality is high during this period, thus understanding the resource requirements of post-fledging birds has implications for conservation. Efforts to identify predictors of abundance of forest birds in patches of early-successional habitats have so far been equivocal, yet these previous studies have primarily focused on contiguously forested landscapes and the potential for landscape-scale influences in more fragmented and modified landscapes is largely unknown. Landscape composition can have a strong influence on the abundance and productivity of forest birds during the nesting period, and could therefore affect the number of forest birds in the landscape available to colonize early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. Therefore, the inclusion of landscape characteristics should increase the explanatory power of models of forest bird abundance in early-successional habitat patches during the post-fledging period. We examined forest bird abundance and body condition in relation to landscape and habitat characteristics of 15 early-successional sites during the post-fledging season in Massachusetts. The abundance of forest birds was influenced by within-patch habitat characteristics, however the explanatory power of these models was significantly increased by the inclusion of landscape fragmentation and the abundance of forest birds in adjacent forest during the nesting period for some species and age groups. Our findings show that including factors beyond the patch scale can explain additional variation in the abundance of forest birds in early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. We conclude that landscape composition should be considered when siting early-successional habitat to maximize its
Hollander, Franck A.; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas
In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius ...
Wilmore, Sandra L.; Glowacki, Gary A.; Grundel, Ralph
Between 1999 and 2004, Save the Dunes Conservation Fund's Miller Woods Bird Banding Program monitored migrating and breeding bird populations within a high quality black oak, dry-mesic sand savanna/woodland with ridge and swale topography. The objectives of this program were to collect consistent and reliable demographic and abundance data on the bird populations, to investigate long-term population trends, and to contribute to improved land management decisions at regional and national scales. The technique employed involved capturing birds in mist nets that were deployed for set periods of time at 17 net sites in two banding areas in Miller Woods.
Full Text Available Among birds, breeding numbers are mainly limited by two resources of major importance: food supply and nest-site availability. Here, we investigated how differences in land-use and nest-site availability affected the foraging behaviour, breeding success and population trends of the colonial cavity-dependent lesser kestrel Falco naumanni inhabiting two protected areas. Both areas were provided with artificial nests to increase nest-site availability. The first area is a pseudo-steppe characterized by traditional extensive cereal cultivation, whereas the second area is a previous agricultural zone now abandoned or replaced by forested areas. In both areas, lesser kestrels selected extensive agricultural habitats, such as fallows and cereal fields, and avoided scrubland and forests. In the second area, tracked birds from one colony travelled significantly farther distances (6.2 km ± 1.7 vs. 1.8 km ± 0.4 and 1.9 km ± 0.6 and had significant larger foraging-ranges (144 km(2 vs. 18.8 and 14.8 km(2 when compared to the birds of two colonies in the extensive agricultural area. Longer foraging trips were reflected in lower chick feeding rates, lower fledging success and reduced chick fitness. Availability and occupation of artificial nests was high in both areas but population followed opposite trends, with a positive increment recorded exclusively in the first area with a large proportion of agricultural areas. Progressive habitat loss around the studied colony in the second area (suitable habitat decreased from 32% in 1990 to only 7% in 2002 is likely the main driver of the recorded population decline and suggests that the effectiveness of bird species conservation based on nest-site provisioning is highly constrained by habitat quality in the surrounding areas. Therefore, the conservation of cavity-dependent species may be enhanced firstly by finding the best areas of remaining habitat and secondly by increasing the carrying capacity of high-quality
Reif, J.; Marhoul, P.; Čížek, O.; Konvička, Martin
Roč. 20, č. 14 (2011), s. 3645-3662 ISSN 0960-3115 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Grant - others:Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic(CZ) SP/2D3/153/08 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : abundance * bird * disturbance Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.238, year: 2011
da Silva Júnior, Wilson Marcelo; Alves Meira-Neto, João Augusto; da Silva Carmo, Flávia Maria; Rodrigues de Melo, Fabiano; Santana Moreira, Leandro; Ferreira Barbosa, Elaine; Dias, Luiz Gustavo; da Silva Peres, Carlos Augusto
This study examines how habitat structure affects the home range use of a group of Brachyteles hypoxanthus in the Brigadeiro State Park, Brazil. It has been reported that most of the annual feeding time of woolly spider monkeys is spent eating leaves, but they prefer fruits when available. We hypothesise that the protein-to-fibre ratio (PF; best descriptor of habitat quality for folivorous primates) is a better descriptor of habitat quality and abundance for these primates than the structural attributes of forests (basal area is the best descriptor of habitat quality for frugivorous primates of Africa and Asia). We evaluated plant community structure, successional status, and PF of leaf samples from the dominant tree populations, both within the core and from a non-core area of the home range of our study group. Forest structure was a combination of stem density and basal area of dominant tree populations. The core area had larger trees, a higher forest basal area, and higher stem density than the non-core area. Mean PF did not differ significantly between these sites, although PF was influenced by differences in tree regeneration guilds. Large-bodied monkeys could be favoured by later successional stages of forests because larger trees and denser stems prevent the need for a higher expenditure of energy for locomotion as a consequence of vertical travel when the crowns of trees are disconnected in early successional forests. Forest structure variables (such as basal area of trees) driven by succession influence woolly spider monkey abundance in a fashion similar to frugivorous monkeys of Asia and Africa, and could explain marked differences in ranging behaviour and home range use by B. hypoxanthus. Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Galván, Ismael; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Camarero, Pablo R; Mateo, Rafael; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos
The mechanisms that make that the costs of producing high-quality signals are unaffordable to low-quality signalers are a current issue in animal communication. The size of the melanin-based bib of male house sparrows Passer domesticus honestly signals quality. We induced the development of new bibs while treating males with buthionine-sulfoximine (BSO), a substance that depletes the levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) and the amino acid cysteine, two elements that switch melanogenesis from eumelanin to pheomelanin. Final bib size is negatively related to pheomelanin levels in the bib feathers. BSO reduced cysteine and GSH levels in all birds, but improved phenotypes (bibs larger than controls) were only expressed by high-quality birds (BSO birds with largest bibs initially). Negative associations between final bib size and cysteine levels in erythrocytes, and between pheomelanin and cysteine levels, were observed in high-quality birds only. These findings suggest that a mechanism uncoupling pheomelanin and cysteine levels may have evolved in low-quality birds to avoid producing bibs of size not corresponding to their quality and greater relative costs. Indeed, greater oxidative stress in cells was not observed in low-quality birds. This may represent the first mechanism maintaining signal honesty without producing greater relative costs on low-quality signalers. PMID:25330349
Full Text Available Habitat features can have a profound effect on the nesting success of birds. Savannas are often managed with predators and large herbivores as priority species, with little thought to the many bird species that management decisions could affect. Using a data set spanning seven breeding seasons, we examined how nesting success of Southern Ground-hornbills (SGHs Bucorvus leadbeateri in the Kruger National Park varied as a result of various environmental and habitat factors within a radius of 3 km surrounding the nest site. Identifying which factors affect nesting success will allow for targeted management efforts to ensure the long-term survival of SGHs both within and outside of protected areas. Habitat structure and diversity of the vegetation surrounding the nest were the most influential factors on SGH nesting success. SGHs require open grassy areas for foraging and areas with large trees for nesting. Savanna habitat drivers such as elephants and fire should be managed to ensure that sufficient large trees are able to establish in the landscape and to control for bush encroachment. This is especially important in areas earmarked for SGH reintroductions. Nest sites of SGHs should be monitored to mitigate any structural changes in the habitat surrounding the nests. Nests should be modified or artificial nest sites provided, where nests have been damaged or lost, to ensure the continued presence of these birds in African savannas. Conservation implications: Habitat structure and diversity surrounding Southern Groundhornbill nests has a significant impact on their nesting success. This highlights the importance of monitoring vegetation change in savanna habitats where they occur. Management of savanna areas should take factors that influence bush encroachment, such as fire and elephants, into account to ensure the long-term persistence of these birds.
The Grey-headed Parrot Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus has a widespread distribution in sub-Saharan Africa yet is uncommon in its natural range. In some areas seasonal movements are recorded. This study, conducted in north-eastern South Africa, showed that habitat use varied seasonally between two sites, Levubu ...
Susan K. Skagen; Rob Hazlewood; Michael L. Scott
Riparian forests have long been considered important habitats for breeding western landbirds, and growing evidence reinforces their importance during the migratory period as well. Extensive modification of natural flow regimes, grazing, and forest clearing along many rivers in the western U.S. have led to loss and simplification of native riparian forests and to...
Šálek, Martin; Havlíček, J.; Riegert, J.; Nešpor, M.; Fuchs, R.; Kipson, M.
Roč. 24, č. 1 (2015), s. 10-16 ISSN 1617-1381 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Central Europe * Dairy farms * Granivorous birds * Habitat preferences * Poultry keeping * Winter period Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.220, year: 2015
Study objectives After the implementation of EU's Water Framework Directive (WFD) in Denmark ecological impacts from groundwater exploitation on surface waters has to receive additional consideration. Small streams in particular are susceptible to changes in run-off but have only recieved little...... attention in past studies of run-off impact on the quality of stream physical habitats. This study combined catchment and instream models with instream habitat observations to assess the ecological impacts from groundwater exploitation on a small stream. The main objectives of this study was; • to assess...... which factors are controlling the run-off conditions in stream Ledreborg and to what degree • to assess the run-off reference condition of stream Ledreborg where intensive groundwater abstraction has taken place in 67 years using a simple rainfall-run-off-model • to assess how stream run-off affect...
Newmark, William D; Stanley, Thomas R
Ecologists have long hypothesized that fragmentation of tropical landscapes reduces avian nest success. However, this hypothesis has not been rigorously assessed because of the difficulty of finding large numbers of well-hidden nests in tropical forests. Here we report that in the East Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, which are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a global biodiversity hotspot, that daily nest survival rate and nest success for seven of eight common understory bird species that we examined over a single breeding season were significantly lower in fragmented than in continuous forest, with the odds of nest failure for these seven species ranging from 1.9 to 196.8 times higher in fragmented than continuous forest. Cup-shaped nests were particularly vulnerable in fragments. We then examined over six breeding seasons and 14 study sites in a multivariable survival analysis the influence of landscape structure and nest location on daily nest survival for 13 common species representing 1,272 nests and four nest types (plate, cup, dome, and pouch). Across species and nest types, area, distance of nest to edge, and nest height had a dominant influence on daily nest survival, with area being positively related to nest survival and distance of nest to edge and nest height being both positively and negatively associated with daily nest survival. Our results indicate that multiple environmental factors contribute to reduce nest survival within a tropical understory bird community in a fragmented landscape and that maintaining large continuous forest is important for enhancing nest survival for Afrotropical understory birds.
Rodrigues, V. B.
Full Text Available We evaluated the effect of anthropogenic disturbance on nest predation in Brazilian Atlantic forest. Artificial nests were distributed in fragments with distinct degrees of anthropogenic disturbance. We found a higher proportion of egg predation on the ground and in the fragments classified as ‘high’ and ‘medium’ disturbance than in the fragments classified as ‘low’ degree of disturbance. The higher egg predation is probably linked to low structural complexity of vegetation and high accessibility of these areas to opportunistic predators. We suggest that forest fragments with high vegetation complexity and low human activity should be preserved in order to maintain the biodiversity of bird species.
Loges, Brian W.; Lyons, James E.; Tavernia, Brian G.
The Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge (CCNWR) in the Mississippi River flood plain of eastern Missouri provides high quality emergent marsh and moist-soil habitat benefitting both nesting marsh birds and migrating waterfowl. Staff of CCNWR manipulate water levels and vegetation in the 17 units of the CCNWR to provide conditions favorable to these two important guilds. Although both guilds include focal species at multiple planning levels and complement objectives to provide a diversity of wetland community types and water regimes, additional decision support is needed for choosing how much emergent marsh and moist-soil habitat should be provided through annual management actions.To develop decision guidance for balanced delivery of high-energy waterfowl habitat and breeding marsh bird habitat, two measureable management objectives were identified: nonbreeding Anas Linnaeus (dabbling duck) use-days and Rallus elegans (king rail) occupancy of managed units. Three different composite management actions were identified to achieve these objectives. Each composite management action is a unique combination of growing season water regime and soil disturbance. The three composite management actions are intense moist-soil management (moist-soil), intermediate moist-soil (intermediate), and perennial management, which idles soils disturbance (perennial). The two management objectives and three management options were used in a multi-criteria decision analysis to indicate resource allocations and inform annual decision making. Outcomes of the composite management actions were predicted in two ways and multi-criteria decision analysis was used with each set of predictions. First, outcomes were predicted using expert-elicitation techniques and a panel of subject matter experts. Second, empirical data from the Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring Initiative collected between 2010 and 2013 were used; where data were lacking, expert judgment was used. Also, a
Huang, Wei; Mynnet, Arthur
Schizothorax Yunnansis is an unique fish species only existing in Lugu Lake, which is located in the southwestern China. The simulation and research on Schizothorax Yunnansis habitat environment have a vital significance to protect this rare fish. With the development of the tourism industry, there bring more pressure on the environmental protection. The living environment of Schizothorax Yunnansis is destroyed seriously because the water quality is suffering the sustaining pollution of domestic sewage from the peripheral villages. This paper analyzes the relationship between water quality change and Schizothorax Yunnansis ecological habitat and evalutes Schizothorax Yunnansis's ecological habitat impact based on HABITAT model. The results show that when the TP concentration in Lugu Lake does not exceed Schizothorax Yunnansis's survival threshold, Schizothorax Yunnansis can get more nutrients and the suitable habitat area for itself is increased. Conversely, it can lead to TP toxicity in the Schizothorax Yunnansis and even death. Therefore, unsuitable habitat area for Schizothorax Yunnansis is increased. It can be seen from the results that HABITAT model can assist in ecological impact assessment studies by translating results of hydrological, water quality models into effects on the natural environment and human society.
Johnson, Brian J.; Munafo, Kristin; Shappell, Laura; Tsipoura, Nellie; Robson, Mark; Ehrenfeld, Joan; Sukhdeo, Michael V. K.
This study investigated the impacts of urban wetlands and their adjacent residential environments on the transmission dynamics of West Nile virus (WNV) within the state of New Jersey (USA). A working hypothesis was that urban wetlands decrease the local prevalence of WNV through the dilution effect from increased bird diversity, and through relative reductions in the numbers of competent avian host and mosquito species commonly associated with WNV. Surveys of mosquito and bird communities were undertaken at six urban wetlands and their adjacent residential environments over two seasons (2009, 2010). The community compositions of both avian and mosquito species differed significantly across habitats, and over relatively short geographical distances. Residential areas contained significantly higher proportions of WNV-competent mosquito species (31.25±5.3 %; e.g. Culex pipiens and Culex restuans), and WNV-competent avian host species (62.8±2.3 %, e.g. House Sparrow and American Robin) when compared to adjacent urban wetlands (13.5±2.1 %; 35.4±2.1 % respectively). Correspondingly, WNV infection rates within local Culex spp. populations indicate that WNV was more prevalent within residential areas (28.53/1000) compared to wetlands (16.77/1000). Large urban wetlands (>100 ha) produced significantly lower weekly WNV infection rates in local Culex spp. (6.67±2.84/1000) compared to small (urban wetlands contained significantly more species than small wetland patches. These results confirm that the community compositions of mosquito and avian hosts are important drivers in WNV infections, and that the ecological conditions that favor transmission are more strongly associated with urban residential environments than with adjacent urban wetlands. PMID:25484570
Flitcroft, Rebecca L; Falke, Jeffrey A.; Reeves, Gordon H.; Hessburg, Paul F.; McNyset, Kris M.; Benda, Lee E.
Pacific Northwest salmonids are adapted to natural disturbance regimes that create dynamic habitat patterns over space and through time. However, human land use, particularly long-term fire suppression, has altered the intensity and frequency of wildfire in forested upland and riparian areas. To examine the potential impacts of wildfire on aquatic systems, we developed stream-reach-scale models of freshwater habitat for three life stages (adult, egg/fry, and juvenile) of spring Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Wenatchee River subbasin, Washington. We used variables representing pre- and post-fire habitat conditions and employed novel techniques to capture changes in in-stream fine sediment, wood, and water temperature. Watershed-scale comparisons of high-quality habitat for each life stage of spring Chinook salmon habitat suggested that there are smaller quantities of high-quality juvenile overwinter habitat as compared to habitat for other life stages. We found that wildfire has the potential to increase quality of adult and overwintering juvenile habitat through increased delivery of wood, while decreasing the quality of egg and fry habitat due to the introduction of fine sediments. Model results showed the largest effect of fire on habitat quality associated with the juvenile life stage, resulting in increases in high-quality habitat in all watersheds. Due to the limited availability of pre-fire high-quality juvenile habitat, and increased habitat quality for this life stage post-fire, occurrence of characteristic wildfires would likely create a positive effect on spring Chinook salmon habitat in the Wenatchee River subbasin. We also compared pre- and post-fire model results of freshwater habitat for each life stage, and for the geometric mean of habitat quality across all life stages, using current compared to the historic distribution of spring Chinook salmon. We found that spring Chinook salmon are currently distributed in stream channels in
Isaak, Daniel J; Thurow, Russell F; Rieman, Bruce E; Dunham, Jason B
Declines in many native fish populations have led to reassessments of management goals and shifted priorities from consumptive uses to species preservation. As management has shifted, relevant environmental characteristics have evolved from traditional metrics that described local habitat quality to characterizations of habitat size and connectivity. Despite the implications this shift has for how habitats may be prioritized for conservation, it has been rare to assess the relative importance of these habitat components. We used an information-theoretic approach to select the best models from sets of logistic regressions that linked habitat quality, size, and connectivity to the occurrence of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) nests. Spawning distributions were censused annually from 1995 to 2004, and data were complemented with field measurements that described habitat quality in 43 suitable spawning patches across a stream network that drained 1150 km2 in central Idaho. Results indicated that the most plausible models were dominated by measures of habitat size and connectivity, whereas habitat quality was of minor importance. Connectivity was the strongest predictor of nest occurrence, but connectivity interacted with habitat size, which became relatively more important when populations were reduced. Comparison of observed nest distributions to null model predictions confirmed that the habitat size association was driven by a biological mechanism when populations were small, but this association may have been an area-related sampling artifact at higher abundances. The implications for habitat management are that the size and connectivity of existing habitat networks should be maintained whenever possible. In situations where habitat restoration is occurring, expansion of existing areas or creation of new habitats in key areas that increase connectivity may be beneficial. Information about habitat size and connectivity also could be used to strategically
Isaak, D.J.; Thurow, R.F.; Rieman, B.E.; Dunham, J.B.
Declines in many native fish populations have led to reassessments of management goals and shifted priorities from consumptive uses to species preservation. As management has shifted, relevant environmental characteristics have evolved from traditional metrics that described local habitat quality to characterizations of habitat size and connectivity. Despite the implications this shift has for how habitats may be prioritized for conservation, it has been rare to assess the relative importance of these habitat components. We used an information-theoretic approach to select the best models from sets of logistic regressions that linked habitat quality, size, and connectivity to the occurrence of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) nests. Spawning distributions were censused annually from 1995 to 2004, and data were complemented with field measurements that described habitat quality in 43 suitable spawning patches across a stream network that drained 1150 km 2 in central Idaho. Results indicated that the most plausible models were dominated by measures of habitat size and connectivity, whereas habitat quality was of minor importance. Connectivity was the strongest predictor of nest occurrence, but connectivity interacted with habitat size, which became relatively more important when populations were reduced. Comparison of observed nest distributions to null model predictions confirmed that the habitat size association was driven by a biological mechanism when populations were small, but this association may have been an area-related sampling artifact at higher abundances. The implications for habitat management are that the size and connectivity of existing habitat networks should be maintained whenever possible. In situations where habitat restoration is occurring, expansion of existing areas or creation of new habitats in key areas that increase connectivity may be beneficial. Information about habitat size and connectivity also could be used to strategically
Camp, Richard J.; Gorresen, P. Marcos; Banko, Paul C.
This report describes the results of a pilot forest bird survey and a consequent forest bird monitoring protocol that was developed for the O'ahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge, O'ahu Island, Hawai'i. The pilot survey was conducted to inform aspects of the monitoring protocol and to provide a baseline with which to compare future surveys on the Refuge. The protocol was developed in an adaptive management framework to track bird distribution and abundance and to meet the strategic habitat conservation requirements of the Refuge. Funding for this research was provided through a Science Support Partnership grant sponsored jointly by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
Breed, M F; Ottewell, K M; Gardner, M G; Marklund, M H K; Stead, M G; Harris, J B C; Lowe, A J
Habitat fragmentation has been shown to disrupt ecosystem processes such as plant-pollinator mutualisms. Consequently, mating patterns in remnant tree populations are expected to shift towards increased inbreeding and reduced pollen diversity, with fitness consequences for future generations. However, mating patterns and phenotypic assessments of open-pollinated progeny have rarely been combined in a single study. Here, we collected seeds from 37 Eucalyptus incrassata trees from contrasting stand densities following recent clearance in a single South Australian population (intact woodland=12.6 trees ha−1; isolated pasture=1.7 trees ha−1; population area=10 km2). 649 progeny from these trees were genotyped at eight microsatellite loci. We estimated genetic diversity, spatial genetic structure, indirect contemporary pollen flow and mating patterns for adults older than the clearance events and open-pollinated progeny sired post-clearance. A proxy of early stage progeny viability was assessed in a common garden experiment. Density had no impact on mating patterns, adult and progeny genetic diversity or progeny growth, but was associated with increased mean pollen dispersal. Weak spatial genetic structure among adults suggests high historical gene flow. We observed preliminary evidence for inbreeding depression related to stress caused by fungal infection, but which was not associated with density. Higher observed heterozygosities in adults compared with progeny may relate to weak selection on progeny and lifetime-accumulated mortality of inbred adults. E. incrassata appears to be resistant to the negative mating pattern and fitness changes expected within fragmented landscapes. This pattern is likely explained by strong outcrossing and regular long-distance pollen flow. PMID:23188172
Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Waite, Ian R.; D'Arconte, Patricia J.; Meador, Michael R.; Maupin, Molly A.; Gurtz, Martin E.
Stream habitat is characterized in the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program as part of an integrated physical, chemical, and biological assessment of the Nation's water quality. The goal of stream habitat characterization is to relate habitat to other physical, chemical, and biological factors that describe water-quality conditions. To accomplish this goal, environmental settings are described at sites selected for water-quality assessment. In addition, spatial and temporal patterns in habitat are examined at local, regional, and national scales. This habitat protocol contains updated methods for evaluating habitat in NAWQA Study Units. Revisions are based on lessons learned after 6 years of applying the original NAWQA habitat protocol to NAWQA Study Unit ecological surveys. Similar to the original protocol, these revised methods for evaluating stream habitat are based on a spatially hierarchical framework that incorporates habitat data at basin, segment, reach, and microhabitat scales. This framework provides a basis for national consistency in collection techniques while allowing flexibility in habitat assessment within individual Study Units. Procedures are described for collecting habitat data at basin and segment scales; these procedures include use of geographic information system data bases, topographic maps, and aerial photographs. Data collected at the reach scale include channel, bank, and riparian characteristics.
Bruggeman, Jason E.; Swem, Ted; Andersen, David E.; Kennedy, Patricia L.; Nigro, Debora A.
Intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect vital rates and population-level processes, and understanding these factors is paramount to devising successful management plans for wildlife species. For example, birds time migration in response, in part, to local and broadscale climate fluctuations to initiate breeding upon arrival to nesting territories, and prolonged inclement weather early in the breeding season can inhibit egg-laying and reduce productivity. Also, density-dependent regulation occurs in raptor populations, as territory size is related to resource availability. Arctic Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus tundrius; hereafter Arctic peregrine) have a limited and northern breeding distribution, including the Colville River Special Area (CRSA) in the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska, USA. We quantified influences of climate, topography, nest productivity, prey habitat, density dependence, and interspecific competition affecting Arctic peregrines in the CRSA by applying the Dail-Madsen model to estimate abundance and vital rates of adults on nesting cliffs from 1981 through 2002. Arctic peregrine abundance increased throughout the 1980s, which spanned the population's recovery from DDT-induced reproductive failure, until exhibiting a stationary trend in the 1990s. Apparent survival rate (i.e., emigration; death) was negatively correlated with the number of adult Arctic peregrines on the cliff the previous year, suggesting effects of density-dependent population regulation. Apparent survival and arrival rates (i.e., immigration; recruitment) were higher during years with earlier snowmelt and milder winters, and apparent survival was positively correlated with nesting season maximum daily temperature. Arrival rate was positively correlated with average Arctic peregrine productivity along a cliff segment from the previous year and initial abundance was positively correlated with cliff height. Higher cliffs with documented higher productivity (presumably
Mosser, Anna; Fryxell, John M; Eberly, Lynn; Packer, Craig
Habitat quality is typically inferred by assuming a direct relationship between consumer density and resource abundance, although it has been suggested that consumer fitness may be a more accurate measure of habitat quality. We examined density vs. fitness-based measures of habitat quality for lions in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. A 40-year average of female reproductive success (yearling cubs per female) was best explained by proximity to river confluences, whereas patterns of productivity (yearling cubs per km(2)) and adult female density (individuals per km(2)) were associated with more general measures of habitat quality and areas of shelter in poor habitat. This suggests that density may not accurately distinguish between high-quality 'source' areas and low-quality sites that merely provide refuges for effectively non-reproductive individuals. Our results indicate that density may be a misleading indicator of real estate value, particularly for populations that do not conform to an ideal free distribution.
Labbe, Michelle A.; King, David I.
Many species of mature forest-nesting birds (“forest birds”) undergo a pronounced shift in habitat use during the post-fledging period and move from their forest nesting sites into areas of early-successional vegetation. Mortality is high during this period, thus understanding the resource requirements of post-fledging birds has implications for conservation. Efforts to identify predictors of abundance of forest birds in patches of early-successional habitats have so far been equivocal, yet these previous studies have primarily focused on contiguously forested landscapes and the potential for landscape-scale influences in more fragmented and modified landscapes is largely unknown. Landscape composition can have a strong influence on the abundance and productivity of forest birds during the nesting period, and could therefore affect the number of forest birds in the landscape available to colonize early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. Therefore, the inclusion of landscape characteristics should increase the explanatory power of models of forest bird abundance in early-successional habitat patches during the post-fledging period. We examined forest bird abundance and body condition in relation to landscape and habitat characteristics of 15 early-successional sites during the post-fledging season in Massachusetts. The abundance of forest birds was influenced by within-patch habitat characteristics, however the explanatory power of these models was significantly increased by the inclusion of landscape fragmentation and the abundance of forest birds in adjacent forest during the nesting period for some species and age groups. Our findings show that including factors beyond the patch scale can explain additional variation in the abundance of forest birds in early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. We conclude that landscape composition should be considered when siting early-successional habitat to maximize its benefit to
Apr 30, 2014 ... Key words: Abundance, micro-habitat, preference, riparian, vegetation .... human interference and more food resources availability. In the month of May, June .... force birds to feed on areas of less quality because survival rate ...
Dhondt, André A
increases with habitat quality but is limited by territorial behaviour. As a result competition for food is reduced in high quality habitats resulting in a reduction of competition intensity in high quality sites in which birds breed at high densities. 8. It can be predicted that in studies of territorial species density dependent effects on reproduction are more likely to be detected in low quality sites explaining in part differences in results between studies.
Lee, Sang-Im; Lee, Hyunna; Jablonski, Piotr G; Choe, Jae Chun; Husby, Magne
Urban environments present novel and challenging habitats to wildlife. In addition to well-known difference in abiotic factors between rural and urban environments, the biotic environment, including microbial fauna, may also differ significantly. In this study, we aimed to compare the change in microbial abundance on eggshells during incubation between urban and rural populations of a passerine bird, the Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica), and examine the consequences of any differences in microbial abundances in terms of hatching success and nestling survival. Using real-time PCR, we quantified the abundances of total bacteria, Escherichia coli/Shigella spp., surfactin-producing Bacillus spp. and Candida albicans on the eggshells of magpies. We found that urban magpie eggs harboured greater abundances of E. coli/Shigella spp. and C. albicans before incubation than rural magpie eggs. During incubation, there was an increase in the total bacterial load, but a decrease in C. albicans on urban eggs relative to rural eggs. Rural eggs showed a greater increase in E. coli/Shigella spp. relative to their urban counterpart. Hatching success of the brood was generally lower in urban than rural population. Nestling survival was differentially related with the eggshell microbial abundance between urban and rural populations, which was speculated to be the result of the difference in the strength of the interaction among the microbes. This is the first demonstration that avian clutches in urban and rural populations differ in eggshell microbial abundance, which can be further related to the difference in hatching success and nestling survival in these two types of environments. We suggest that future studies on the eggshell microbes should investigate the interaction among the microbes, because the incubation and/or environmental factors such as urbanization or climate condition can influence the dynamic interactions among the microbes on the eggshells which can further determine the
and hydromorphological and chemical characteristics has to be enlightened (EUROPA, 2005). This study links catchment hydrology, stream discharge and physical habitat in a small Danish stream, the stream Ledreborg, and discusses the utility of habitat hydraulic models in relation to the present criteria and methods used......). Hydromorphological conditions in the stream are measured through field study, using a habitat mapping approach and modelled using a habitat hydraulic model (RHYHABSIM). Using RHYHABSIM and both "site-specific" and general HSI's, Weighted Usable Area (WUA) for the trout population at different discharges is assessed...... and differences between simulated WUA using "site-specific" and general habitat preferences are discussed. In RHYHABSIM it is possible to use two different approaches to investigate the hydromorphological conditions in a river, the habitat mapping approach used in this project and the representative reach...
Aaron D Flesch
Full Text Available Spatial variation in resources is a fundamental driver of habitat quality but the realized value of resources at any point in space may depend on the effects of conspecifics and stochastic factors, such as weather, which vary through time. We evaluated the relative and combined effects of habitat resources, weather, and conspecifics on habitat quality for ferruginous pygmy-owls (Glaucidium brasilianum in the Sonoran Desert of northwest Mexico by monitoring reproductive output and conspecific abundance over 10 years in and around 107 territory patches. Variation in reproductive output was much greater across space than time, and although habitat resources explained a much greater proportion of that variation (0.70 than weather (0.17 or conspecifics (0.13, evidence for interactions among each of these components of the environment was strong. Relative to habitat that was persistently low in quality, high-quality habitat buffered the negative effects of conspecifics and amplified the benefits of favorable weather, but did not buffer the disadvantages of harsh weather. Moreover, the positive effects of favorable weather at low conspecific densities were offset by intraspecific competition at high densities. Although realized habitat quality declined with increasing conspecific density suggesting interference mechanisms associated with an Ideal Free Distribution, broad spatial heterogeneity in habitat quality persisted. Factors linked to food resources had positive effects on reproductive output but only where nest cavities were sufficiently abundant to mitigate the negative effects of heterospecific enemies. Annual precipitation and brooding-season temperature had strong multiplicative effects on reproductive output, which declined at increasing rates as drought and temperature increased, reflecting conditions predicted to become more frequent with climate change. Because the collective environment influences habitat quality in complex ways
Belgrad, Benjamin A; Griffen, Blaine D
Assessing the stability of animal personalities has become a major goal of behavioral ecologists. Most personality studies have utilized solitary individuals, but little is known on the extent that individuals retain their personality across ecologically relevant group settings. We conducted a field survey which determined that mud crabs, Panopeus herbstii, remain scattered as isolated individuals on degraded oyster reefs while high quality reefs can sustain high crab densities (>10 m -2 ). We examined the impact of these differences in social context on personality by quantifying the boldness of the same individual crabs when in isolation and in natural cohorts. Crabs were also exposed to either a treatment of predator cues or a control of no cue throughout the experiment to assess the strength of this behavioral reaction norm. Crabs were significantly bolder when in groups than as solitary individuals with predator cue treatments exhibiting severally reduced crab activity levels in comparison to corresponding treatments with no predator cues. Behavioral plasticity depended on the individual and was strongest in the presence of predator cues. While bold crabs largely maintained their personality in isolation and group settings, shy crabs would become substantially bolder when among conspecifics. These results imply that the shifts in crab boldness were a response to changes in perceived predation risk, and provide a mechanism for explaining variation in behavioral plasticity. Such findings suggest that habitat degradation may produce subpopulations with different behavioral patterns because of differing social interactions between individual animals.
Matthew J. McCarthy
Full Text Available Habitat mapping can be accomplished using many techniques and types of data. There are pros and cons for each technique and dataset, therefore, the goal of this project was to investigate the capabilities of new satellite sensor technology and to assess map accuracy for a variety of image classification techniques based on hundreds of field-work sites. The study area was Masonboro Island, an undeveloped area in coastal North Carolina, USA. Using the best map results, a habitat change assessment was conducted between 2002 and 2010. WorldView-2, QuickBird, and IKONOS satellite sensors were tested using unsupervised and supervised methods using a variety of spectral band combinations. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR elevation and texture data pan-sharpening, and spatial filtering were also tested. In total, 200 maps were generated and results indicated that WorldView-2 was consistently more accurate than QuickBird and IKONOS. Supervised maps were more accurate than unsupervised in 80% of the maps. Pan-sharpening the images did not consistently improve map accuracy but using a majority filter generally increased map accuracy. During the relatively short eight-year period, 20% of the coastal study area changed with intertidal marsh experiencing the most change. Smaller habitat classes changed substantially as well. For example, 84% of upland scrub-shrub experienced change. These results document the dynamic nature of coastal habitats, validate the use of the relatively new Worldview-2 sensor, and may be used to guide future coastal habitat mapping.
Podlaszczuk, Patrycja; Kamiński, Maciej; Włodarczyk, Radosław; Kaczmarek, Krzysztof; Janiszewski, Tomasz; Minias, Piotr
Moult is one of the most costly activities in the annual cycle of birds and most avian species separate moult from other energy-demanding activities, such as migration. To this end, young birds tend to undergo the first post-juvenile moult before the onset of migration, but in some species the time window for the pre-migratory feather replacement is too narrow. We hypothesized that in such species an increased investment in the structural quality of juvenile feathers may allow to retain juvenile plumage throughout the entire migratory period and delay moult until arriving at wintering grounds, thus avoiding a moult-migration overlap. The effect of juvenile plumage quality on the occurrence of moult-migration overlap was studied in a migratory shorebird, the common snipe Gallinago gallinago . Ca. 400 of first-year common snipe were captured during their final stage of autumn migration through Central Europe. The quality of juvenile feathers was assessed as the mass-length residuals of retained juvenile rectrices. Condition of migrating birds was assessed with the mass of accumulated fat reserves and whole-blood hemoglobin concentration. Path analysis was used to disentangle complex interrelationships between plumage quality, moult and body condition. Snipe which grew higher-quality feathers in the pre-fledging period were less likely to initiate moult during migration. Individuals moulting during migration had lower fat loads and hemoglobin concentrations compared to non-moulting birds, suggesting a trade-off in resource allocation, where energetic costs of moult reduced both energy reserves available for migration and resources available for maintenance of high oxygen capacity of blood. The results of this study indicate that a major life-history trade-off in a migratory bird may be mediated by the quality of juvenile plumage. This is consistent with a silver spoon effect, where early-life investment in feather quality affects future performance of birds during
Fountain, Emily D; Kang, Jung Koo; Tempel, Douglas J; Palsbøll, Per J; Pauli, Jonathan N; Zachariah Peery, M
Understanding how habitat quality in heterogeneous landscapes governs the distribution and fitness of individuals is a fundamental aspect of ecology. While mean individual fitness is generally considered a key to assessing habitat quality, a comprehensive understanding of habitat quality in heterogeneous landscapes requires estimates of dispersal rates among habitat types. The increasing accessibility of genomic approaches, combined with field-based demographic methods, provides novel opportunities for incorporating dispersal estimation into assessments of habitat quality. In this study, we integrated genomic kinship approaches with field-based estimates of fitness components and approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) procedures to estimate habitat-specific dispersal rates and characterize habitat quality in two-toed sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni) occurring in a Costa Rican agricultural ecosystem. Field-based observations indicated that birth and survival rates were similar in a sparsely shaded cacao farm and adjacent cattle pasture-forest mosaic. Sloth density was threefold higher in pasture compared with cacao, whereas home range size and overlap were greater in cacao compared with pasture. Dispersal rates were similar between the two habitats, as estimated using ABC procedures applied to the spatial distribution of pairs of related individuals identified using 3,431 single nucleotide polymorphism and 11 microsatellite locus genotypes. Our results indicate that crops produced under a sparse overstorey can, in some cases, constitute lower-quality habitat than pasture-forest mosaics for sloths, perhaps because of differences in food resources or predator communities. Finally, our study demonstrates that integrating field-based demographic approaches with genomic methods can provide a powerful means for characterizing habitat quality for animal populations occurring in heterogeneous landscapes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Klok, C.; Roos, de A.M.
1. The effects of changes in habitat size and quality on the expected population density and the expected time to extinction of Sorex araneus are studied by means of mathematical models that incorporate demographic stochasticity. 2. Habitat size is characterized by the number of territories, while
Since June 9, 1999 the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has implemented the Routine Road Maintenance: Water Quality and Habitat Guide Best Management Practices (the Guide), and is considered the cornerstone of the ODOT'd Office of Maintenan...
Arend, Kristin K.; Beletsky, Dmitry; DePinto, Joseph; Ludsin, Stuart A.; Roberts, James J.; Rucinski, Daniel K.; Scavia, Donald; Schwab, David J.; Höök, Tomas O.
1. Hypoxia occurs seasonally in many stratified coastal marine and freshwater ecosystems when bottom dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations are depleted below 2–3 mg O2 L-1. 2. We evaluated the effects of hypoxia on fish habitat quality in the central basin of Lake Erie from 1987 to 2005, using bioenergetic growth rate potential (GRP) as a proxy for habitat quality. We compared the effect of hypoxia on habitat quality of (i) rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax mordax Mitchill (young-of-year, YOY, and adult), a cold-water planktivore, (ii) emerald shiner, Notropis atherinoides Rafinesque (adult), a warm-water planktivore, (iii) yellow perch, Perca flavescens Mitchill (YOY and adult), a cool-water benthopelagic omnivore and (iv) round goby Neogobius melanostomus Pallas (adult) a eurythermal benthivore. Annual thermal and DO profiles were generated from 1D thermal and DO hydrodynamics models developed for Lake Erie’s central basin. 3. Hypoxia occurred annually, typically from mid-July to mid-October, which spatially and temporally overlaps with otherwise high benthic habitat quality. Hypoxia reduced the habitat quality across fish species and life stages, but the magnitude of the reduction varied both among and within species because of the differences in tolerance to low DO levels and warm-water temperatures. 4. Across years, trends in habitat quality mirrored trends in phosphorus concentration and water column oxygen demand in central Lake Erie. The per cent reduction in habitat quality owing to hypoxia was greatest for adult rainbow smelt and round goby (mean: -35%), followed by adult emerald shiner (mean: -12%), YOY rainbow smelt (mean: -10%) and YOY and adult yellow perch (mean: -8.5%). 5. Our results highlight the importance of differential spatiotemporally interactive effects of DO and temperature on relative fish habitat quality and quantity. These effects have the potential to influence the performance of individual fish species as well as population dynamics
Heumann, B. W.; Guichard, F.; Seaquist, J. W.
The HABSEED model uses remote sensing derived NPP as a surrogate for habitat quality as the driving mechanism for population growth and local seed dispersal. The model has been applied to the Sahel region of Africa. Results show that the functional response of plants to habitat quality alters population distribution. Plants more tolerant of medium quality habitat have greater distributions to the North while plants requiring only the best habitat are limited to the South. For all functional response types, increased seed production results in diminishing returns. Functional response types have been related to life history tradeoffs and r-K strategies based on the results. Results are compared to remote sensing derived vegetation land cover.
White, Joseph D.; Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Zygo, Lisa; Swint, Pamela
Avian conservation efforts must account for changes in vegetation composition and structure associated with climate change. We modeled vegetation change and the probability of occurrence of birds to project changes in winter bird distributions associated with climate change and fire management in the northern Chihuahuan Desert (southwestern U.S.A.). We simulated vegetation change in a process-based model (Landscape and Fire Simulator) in which anticipated climate change was associated with doubling of current atmospheric carbon dioxide over the next 50 years. We estimated the relative probability of bird occurrence on the basis of statistical models derived from field observations of birds and data on vegetation type, topography, and roads. We selected 3 focal species, Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), and Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus), that had a range of probabilities of occurrence for our study area. Our simulations projected increases in relative probability of bird occurrence in shrubland and decreases in grassland and Yucca spp. and ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) vegetation. Generally, the relative probability of occurrence of all 3 species was highest in shrubland because leaf-area index values were lower in shrubland. This high probability of occurrence likely is related to the species' use of open vegetation for foraging. Fire suppression had little effect on projected vegetation composition because as climate changed there was less fuel and burned area. Our results show that if future water limits on plant type are considered, models that incorporate spatial data may suggest how and where different species of birds may respond to vegetation changes.
Somura, H.; Takeda, I.; Masunaga, T.; Mori, Y.; Ide, J.
Thousands of migratory birds such as tundra swan came to the paddy fields for overwintering in recent years in the study area. They stayed in paddy fields during night time for sleeping and used around the fields as a feeding ground during day time. During the birds stay, it was observed that water pooled in the paddy fields gradually turned green and gave off a bad smell. In this study, we tried to estimate the influence of the bird’s feces to water quality in the paddy fields. The study area is in the southeastern portion of Matsue City in Shimane Prefecture, Japan. In several paddy fields, puddling procedure was executed after harvesting rice and then water was stored in the paddy fields during winter season. This is because of being easier of farming activities such as weeding next season and of avoiding using pesticide for weeding with rising of environmental awareness. Water in the paddy fields was collected once or twice a month from the target fields and analyzed nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon in 2007. In the study in 2006, as water was sampled once a week and the changes in the water quality had been grasped, we paid attention to behavior of the birds in a day in the field investigation in 2007. The number of the birds was counted once an hour from visible 7 am to 6 pm once a month. In addition to this, fresh feces were sampled from the fields and analyzed the contents of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon in the feces. As results, average water qualities of TN, TP, and TOC from November 2007 to March 2008 showed very high concentrations compared with a river water concentration used as irrigation water. More than 70% of TN in the water was ammonia nitrogen. Moreover, comparing with a standard fertilizer amount of nitrogen and phosphorus for paddy fields during irrigation period, it was estimated that the amount of nitrogen excreted by the bird’s feces during the winter season was equivalent to the standard fertilizer amount and the
... Management Handbook. Noise: The Committee Recommendations do not include a discussion of noise impacts to... authorized. Increased energy demands and the nationwide goal to increase energy production from renewable... sensitive to habitat fragmentation.'' Adaptive Management: The Committee Recommendations used Adaptive...
Luke L. Powell; Gustavo Zurita; Jared D. Wolfe; Erik I. Johnson; Philip C Stouffer
Primary tropical rain forests are being rapidly perforated with new edges via roads, logging, and pastures, and vast areas of secondary forest accumulate following abandonment of agricultural lands. To determine how insectivorous Amazonian understory birds respond to edges between primary rain forest and three age classes of secondary forest, we radio-tracked two...
Platteeuw, M.; Foppen, R.P.B.; Eerden, van M.R.
All over Europe, wetlands have decreased in size, lost their original dynamics and became fragmented as the consequence of an ever increasing human land use. These processes have resulted in losses of nature values, among which declines in marshland bird populations. Ecological restoration of
Koen, J H; Crowe, T M
Effects of forest plant species composition and physiognomy on bird and invertebrate communities were investigated in three discrete, relatively undisturbed forest types along a dry-wet soil moisture gradient. Using discriminant function analysis, a 100% floristic and a 78% vegetation structural discrimination were obtained between the three forest types. However, the bird communities of these different forest types were very similar in species composition, and had much lower densities than those normally encountered in other, superficially similar forests. Although an 81% discrimination between forest types was attained through analysis of ground surface invertebrates, measures of litter and aerial invertebrate abundance were also of limited use as discriminators. Historical and biogeographic factors, as well as the low nutritional levels in the soil and vegetation may be the causes of low bird and invertebrate density and diversity. It is concluded that floristics and vegetation structure have, at best, a minor influence on bird community structure, and possibly also on invertebrate community structure in the Knysna Forest.
Debrot, A.O.; Bemmelen, van R.S.A.; Ligon, J.
The mangrove and seagrass lagoon of Lac Bay on Bonaire covers an area of roughly 700 ha. It is home to endangered green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, and the Caribbean queen conch, Strombus gigas, and is a roosting and breeding area for several birds. Based on its nature values this 7 km2 bay has
Hodgson, Jenny A; Moilanen, Atte; Thomas, Chris D
Many species have to track changes in the spatial distribution of suitable habitat from generation to generation. Understanding the dynamics of such species will likely require spatially explicit models, and patch-based metapopulation models are potentially appropriate. However, relatively little attention has been paid to developing metapopulation models that include habitat dynamics, and very little to testing the predictions of these models. We tested three predictions from theory about the differences between dynamic habitat metapopulations and their static counterparts using long-term survey data from two metapopulations of the butterfly Plebejus argus. As predicted, we showed first that the metapopulation inhabiting dynamic habitat had a lower level of habitat occupancy, which could not be accounted for by other differences between the metapopulations. Secondly, we found that patch occupancy did not significantly increase with increasing patch connectivity in dynamic habitat, whereas there was a strong positive connectivity-occupancy relationship in static habitat. Thirdly, we found no significant relationship between patch occupancy and patch quality in dynamic habitat, whereas there was a strong, positive quality-occupancy relationship in static habitat. Modeling confirmed that the differences in mean patch occupancy and connectivity-occupancy slope could arise without changing the species' metapopulation parameters-importantly, without changing the dependence of colonization upon connectivity. We found that, for a range of landscape scenarios, successional simulations always produced a lower connectivity-occupancy slope than comparable simulations with static patches, whether compared like-for-like or controlling for mean occupancy. We conclude that landscape-scale studies may often underestimate the importance of connectivity for species occurrence and persistence because habitat turnover can obscure the connectivity-occupancy relationship in commonly
Gao, Yu; Ma, Lei; Liu, Jiaxun; Zhuang, Zhuzhou; Huang, Qiuhao; Li, Manchun
Fragmentation and reduced continuity of habitat patches threaten the environment and biodiversity. Recently, ecological networks are increasingly attracting the attention of researchers as they provide fundamental frameworks for environmental protection. This study suggests a set of procedures to construct an ecological network. First, we proposed a method to construct a landscape resistance surface based on the assessment of habitat quality. Second, to analyze the effect of the resistance surface on corridor simulations, we used three methods to construct resistance surfaces: (1) the method proposed in this paper, (2) the entropy coefficient method, and (3) the expert scoring method. Then, we integrated habitat patches and resistance surfaces to identify potential corridors using graph theory. These procedures were tested in Changzhou, China. Comparing the outputs of using different resistance surfaces demonstrated that: (1) different landscape resistance surfaces contribute to how corridors are identified, but only slightly affect the assessment of the importance of habitat patches and potential corridors; (2) the resistance surface, which is constructed based on habitat quality, is more applicable to corridor simulations; and (3) the assessment of the importance of habitat patches is fundamental for ecological network optimization in the conservation of critical habitat patches and corridors. PMID:28393879
Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Xiang, H.; Liu, C. M.; Zhang, H. T.; Yang, Z. L.; Zhang, Y.; Sun, Y.; Mitrovic, S. M.; Yu, Q.; Lim, R. P.
Aquatic ecological rehabilitation is attracting increasing public and research attention, but without knowledge of the responses of aquatic species to their habitats the success of habitat restoration is uncertain. Thus efficient study of species response to habitat, through which to prioritize the habitat factors influencing aquatic ecosystems, is highly important. However many current models have too high requirement for assemblage information and have great bias in results due to consideration of only the species' attribute of presence/absence, abundance or biomass, thus hindering the wider utility of these models. This paper, using fish as a case, presents a framework for identification of high-priority habitat factors based on the responses of aquatic species to their habitats, using presence/absence, abundance and biomass data. This framework consists of four newly developed sub-models aiming to determine weightings for the evaluation of species' contributions to their communities, to quantitatively calculate an integrated habitat suitability index for multi-species based on habitat factors, to assess the suitable probability of habitat factors and to assess the rehabilitation priority of habitat factors. The framework closely links hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat factors to fish assemblage attributes drawn from monitoring datasets on hydrology, water quality and fish assemblages at a total of 144 sites, where 5084 fish were sampled and tested. Breakpoint identification techniques based on curvature in cumulated dominance along with a newly developed weighting calculation model based on theory of mass systems were used to help identify the dominant fish, based on which the presence and abundance of multiple fish were normalized to estimate the integrated habitat suitability index along gradients of various factors, based on their variation with principal habitat factors. Then, the appropriate probability of every principal habitat factor was
Differential effects of habitat fragmentation on birds and mammals in Valdivian temperate rainforests Efectos diferenciales de la fragmentación del hábitat sobre aves y mamíferos del bosque valdiviano
DOUGLAS A. KELT
Full Text Available Four recent studies on Chilean vertebrates underscore the very different effects that habitat fragmentation may have under different conditions. In southern Chile, birds exhibited significant species-area relationships, whereas the more depauperate small mammal community did not. The avifauna of highly isolated rainforest remnants in Fray Jorge National Park (IV Región presented steeper species-area relations than those in southern Chile, reminiscent of land-bridge islands after faunal relaxation. The small mammal results were unexpected but may reflect the reduced vagility and immigration potential of this group. Additionally, the inter-remnant matrix habitat may support large populations of only some species, allowing them to capitalize on resources that are available in forest remnants. Such an effect is less likely for birds due to their greater vagility. Although the influence of remnant area is more clearly demonstrated for birds in Chile, it appears that small mammal assemblages may be more immediately impacted by habitat fragmentation than are birds, and that further fragmentation of temperate rainforests will seriously impoverish the small mammal assemblage, many of whose members are endemic to this region. Further research should emphasize the role of the inter-remnant matrix, of habitat corridors, and of the relative sensitivity of different species to matrix/corridor quality and remnant isolationCuatro estudios recientes en vertebrados chilenos subrayan los efectos muy diversos que la fragmentación del hábitat puede tener bajo diversas condiciones. En el sur de Chile, las aves exhibieron relaciones significativas entre la riqueza de especies y el área de hábitat ("especies-area", mientras que tal relación no se observó en la comunidad de pequeños mamíferos, la cual tiene menos especies. La avifauna de los fragmentos remanentes altamente aislados del Parque Nacional Fray Jorge (IV Región presentaron relaciones especies
Dickson, Brett G; Roemer, Gary W; McRae, Brad H; Rundall, Jill M
The impact of landscape changes on the quality and connectivity of habitats for multiple wildlife species is of global conservation concern. In the southwestern United States, pumas (Puma concolor) are a well distributed and wide-ranging large carnivore that are sensitive to loss of habitat and to the disruption of pathways that connect their populations. We used an expert-based approach to define and derive variables hypothesized to influence the quality, location, and permeability of habitat for pumas within an area encompassing the entire states of Arizona and New Mexico. Survey results indicated that the presence of woodland and forest cover types, rugged terrain, and canyon bottom and ridgeline topography were expected to be important predictors of both high quality habitat and heightened permeability. As road density, distance to water, or human population density increased, the quality and permeability of habitats were predicted to decline. Using these results, we identified 67 high quality patches across the study area, and applied concepts from electronic circuit theory to estimate regional patterns of connectivity among these patches. Maps of current flow among individual pairs of patches highlighted possible pinch points along two major interstate highways. Current flow summed across all pairs of patches highlighted areas important for keeping the entire network connected, regardless of patch size. Cumulative current flow was highest in Arizona north of the Colorado River and around Grand Canyon National Park, and in the Sky Islands region owing to the many small habitat patches present. Our outputs present a first approximation of habitat quality and connectivity for dispersing pumas in the southwestern United States. Map results can be used to help target finer-scaled analyses in support of planning efforts concerned with the maintenance of puma metapopulation structure, as well as the protection of landscape features that facilitate the dispersal
Brett G Dickson
Full Text Available The impact of landscape changes on the quality and connectivity of habitats for multiple wildlife species is of global conservation concern. In the southwestern United States, pumas (Puma concolor are a well distributed and wide-ranging large carnivore that are sensitive to loss of habitat and to the disruption of pathways that connect their populations. We used an expert-based approach to define and derive variables hypothesized to influence the quality, location, and permeability of habitat for pumas within an area encompassing the entire states of Arizona and New Mexico. Survey results indicated that the presence of woodland and forest cover types, rugged terrain, and canyon bottom and ridgeline topography were expected to be important predictors of both high quality habitat and heightened permeability. As road density, distance to water, or human population density increased, the quality and permeability of habitats were predicted to decline. Using these results, we identified 67 high quality patches across the study area, and applied concepts from electronic circuit theory to estimate regional patterns of connectivity among these patches. Maps of current flow among individual pairs of patches highlighted possible pinch points along two major interstate highways. Current flow summed across all pairs of patches highlighted areas important for keeping the entire network connected, regardless of patch size. Cumulative current flow was highest in Arizona north of the Colorado River and around Grand Canyon National Park, and in the Sky Islands region owing to the many small habitat patches present. Our outputs present a first approximation of habitat quality and connectivity for dispersing pumas in the southwestern United States. Map results can be used to help target finer-scaled analyses in support of planning efforts concerned with the maintenance of puma metapopulation structure, as well as the protection of landscape features that facilitate
Sonny S. Bleicher
Full Text Available In environments where food resources are spatially variable and temporarily impoverished, consumers that encounter habitat patches with different food density should focus their foraging initially where food density is highest before they move to patches where food density is lower. Increasing missed opportunity costs should drive individuals progressively to patches with lower food density as resources in the initially high food density patches deplete. To test these expectations, we assessed the foraging decisions of two species of dasyurid marsupials (dunnarts: Sminthopsis hirtipes and S. youngsoni during a deep drought, or bust period, in the Simpson Desert of central Australia. Dunnarts were allowed access to three patches containing different food densities using an interview chamber experiment. Both species exhibited clear preference for the high density over the lower food density patches as measured in total harvested resources. Similarly, when measuring the proportion of resources harvested within the patches, we observed a marginal preference for patches with initially high densities. Models analyzing behavioral choices at the population level found no differences in behavior between the two species, but models analyzing choices at the individual level uncovered some variation. We conclude that dunnarts can distinguish between habitat patches with different densities of food and preferentially exploit the most valuable. As our observations were made during bust conditions, experiments should be repeated during boom times to assess the foraging economics of dunnarts when environmental resources are high.
David A. Hasenbeck
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, and American Bird Conservancy, share goals to restore and manage high quality glade, savanna, and woodland habitats within the Saint Francis Bird Conservation Area. The partnership endeavors to maintain and enhance an ecosystem with native glade and...
To preliminary explore the difference of the morphological, quality and germinal characteristics of Acanthopanax trifoliatus seeds under different habitats. Collect the wild seeds from different habitats in West Mountain, and then observe their external appearances and internal structure, and test the thousand seeds weight,water content and seed vigor. What's more, the influence to germination rates of the seeds from different temperatures and light intensities in artificial bioclimatic chamber was studied. Orthogonal test in experimental plots was carried out to screen the different sowing dates, matrix types and soil depths which may influence germination rate. The external appearances and quality characteristics of wild seeds from three habitats were different. Seeds could germinate in the both light and dark, the germination rate of the habitat II was as high as 70.5% at the optimum temperature 20 degrees C in artificial bioclimatic chamber. The optimal combination A1, B1, C1 was screened out through orthogonal test, namely, the germination rate would be the highest when the seeds sowed in autumn covering with 2 cm depth of matrix type which component of the ratio of soil, sand and organic fertilizer was 6: 3: 1. There was significant difference in the morphology and germination rate of the three habitats seeds. The habitat II seeds were the optimal choice when culture seedling. The influences of different temperatures on germination rate were different, and the dried seeds should sow in current autumn, better than the next spring.
Bieri, Joanna A.; Sample, Christine; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Diffendorfer, James E.; Earl, Julia E.; Erickson, Richard A.; Federico, Paula; Flockhart, D. T. Tyler; Nicol, Sam; Semmens, Darius J.; Skraber, T.; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Mattsson, Brady J.
Many metrics exist for quantifying the relative value of habitats and pathways used by highly mobile species. Properly selecting and applying such metrics requires substantial background in mathematics and understanding the relevant management arena. To address this multidimensional challenge, we demonstrate and compare three measurements of habitat quality: graph-, occupancy-, and demographic-based metrics. Each metric provides insights into system dynamics, at the expense of increasing amounts and complexity of data and models. Our descriptions and comparisons of diverse habitat-quality metrics provide means for practitioners to overcome the modeling challenges associated with management or conservation of such highly mobile species. Whereas previous guidance for applying habitat-quality metrics has been scattered in diversified tracks of literature, we have brought this information together into an approachable format including accessible descriptions and a modeling case study for a typical example that conservation professionals can adapt for their own decision contexts and focal populations.Considerations for Resource ManagersManagement objectives, proposed actions, data availability and quality, and model assumptions are all relevant considerations when applying and interpreting habitat-quality metrics.Graph-based metrics answer questions related to habitat centrality and connectivity, are suitable for populations with any movement pattern, quantify basic spatial and temporal patterns of occupancy and movement, and require the least data.Occupancy-based metrics answer questions about likelihood of persistence or colonization, are suitable for populations that undergo localized extinctions, quantify spatial and temporal patterns of occupancy and movement, and require a moderate amount of data.Demographic-based metrics answer questions about relative or absolute population size, are suitable for populations with any movement pattern, quantify demographic
Glemnitz, Michael; Zander, Peter; Stachow, Ulrich
The environmental impacts of land use vary regionally. Differences in geomorphology, climate, landscape structure, and biotope inventories are regarded as the main causes of this variation. We present a methodological approach for identifying regional responses in land use type to large-scale changes and the implications for the provision of habitat for farmland birds. The methodological innovations of this approach are (i) the coupling of impact assessments with economic models, (ii) the linking of cropping techniques at the plot scale with the regional distribution of land use, and (iii) the integration of statistical or monitoring data on recent states. This approach allows for the regional differentiation of farmers' responses to changing external conditions and for matching the ecological impacts of land use changes with regional environmental sensitivities. An exemplary scenario analysis was applied for a case study of an area in Germany, assessing the impacts of increased irrigation and the promotion of energy cropping on farmland birds, evaluated as a core indicator for farmland biodiversity. The potential effects on farmland birds were analyzed based on the intrinsic habitat values of the crops and cropping techniques. The results revealed that the strongest decrease in habitat availability for farmland birds occurred in regions with medium-to-low agricultural yields. As a result of the limited cropping alternatives, the increase in maize production was highest in marginal regions for both examined scenarios. Maize production replaced many crops with good-to-medium habitat suitability for birds. The declines in habitat quality were strongest in regions that are not in focus for conservation efforts for farmland birds.
Samplonius, Jelmer M.; Kromhout Van Der Meer, Iris M; Both, Christiaan
Background: Social learning allows animals to eavesdrop on ecologically relevant knowledge of competitors in their environment. This is especially important when selecting a habitat if individuals have relatively little personal information on habitat quality. It is known that birds can use both
Ernst, Anne G.; Baldigo, Barry P.; Mulvihill, Christiane; Vian, Mark
Stream restoration has received much attention in recent years, yet there has been little effort to evaluate its impacts on physical habitat, stability, and biota. A popular but controversial stream restoration approach is natural channel design (NCD), which cannot be adequately evaluated without a long-term, independent assessment of its effects on stream habitat. Six reaches of five Catskill Mountain streams in southeastern New York were restored during 2000–2003 following NCD techniques to decrease bed and bank degradation, decrease sediment loads, and improve water quality. Habitat surveys were conducted during summer low flows from 2001 to 2007. The effects of the NCD projects on stream condition were assessed via a before–after–control–impact study design to quantify the net changes in stream and bank habitat variables relative to those in unaltered control reaches. Analysis of variance tests of three different measures of bank stability show that on average stream stability increased at treatment sites for 2–5 years after restoration. Mean channel depth, thalweg depth, and the pool–riffle ratio generally increased, whereas mean channel width, percent streambank coverage by trees, and shade decreased. Habitat suitability indices for local salmonid species increased at four of six reaches after restoration. The changes in channel dimensions rendered them generally more characteristic of stabler stream forms in the given valley settings. Although these studies were done relatively soon after project completion, our findings demonstrate that habitat conditions can be improved in degraded Catskill Mountain streams through NCD restoration.
Copplestone, D.; Wood, M.D.; Bielby, S.; Jones, S.R.; Vives, J.; Beresford, N.A.; Zinger, I.
In the UK, research funded by the Environment Agency/English Nature has provided a tool for calculating doses received by biota in coastal, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. The approach uses the reference organism concept where the organism of interest (feature organism) is equated to a particular reference organism (based on its physical geometry and ecology). The exposure of the reference organism, and consequently the feature organism, to different radionuclides and dose rates can be assessed using a spreadsheet-based mathematical tool. This assessment tool was developed in 2001 and provided an internationally recognised starting point from which more refined assessment tools could develop. As the need for conducting specific assessments under the UK Habitat Regulations became apparent, it was recognised that some targeted refinement of the assessment tool was required. One of the major problems with the tool related to a lack of species-specific data and a lack of information on certain radionuclides appearing in discharges that may be impacting on sites/species to be protected. A second research and development project was therefore undertaken to reduce the uncertainties associated with the assessment tool by collating additional species-specific data, developing a mathematical system for ensuring that the most appropriate reference organism was selected and extending the range of radionuclides included in the assessment. This specific expansion to the assessment tool was directed towards ensuring that species at Natura 2000 sites (Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)) were adequately protected. The species targeted (feature species) for this assessment were species protected under the EC Habitats Directive and those that are characteristic of habitats protected under the Directive. The paper will show how typical dimensions of each feature species are collated and each feature species mathematically aligned with the
Adámek, Z.; Jurajda, Pavel
Roč. 1, č. 3 (2001), s. 305-311 ISSN 1642-3593. [Ecohydrology as a tool for restoration of physically degraded fish habitats. Warsaw, 11.06.2001-13.06.2001] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6093917 Keywords : stream ecology * water quality * fish communities Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour
Kardel, F.; Wuyts, K.; Babanezhad, M.; Vitharana, U.W.A.; Wuytack, T.; Potters, G.; Samson, R.
This study has evaluated urban habitat quality by studying specific leaf area (SLA) and stomatal characteristics of the common herb Plantago lanceolata L. SLA and stomatal density, pore surface and resistance were measured at 169 locations in the city of Gent (Belgium), distributed over four land use classes, i.e., sub-urban green, urban green, urban and industry. SLA and stomatal density significantly increased from sub-urban green towards more urbanised land use classes, while the reverse was observed for stomatal pore surface. Stomatal resistance increased in the urban and industrial land use class in comparison with the (sub-) urban green, but differences between land use classes were less pronounced. Spatial distribution maps for these leaf characteristics showed a high spatial variation, related to differences in habitat quality within the city. Hence, stomatal density and stomatal pore surface are assumed to be potentially good bio-indicators for urban habitat quality. - Stomatal characteristics of Plantago lanceolata can be used for biomonitoring of urban habitat quality.
Anderson, James T.; Zadnik, Andrew K.; Wood, Petra Bohall; Bledsoe, Kerry
The islands and associated back channels on the Ohio River, USA, are believed to provide critical habitat features for several wildlife species. However, few studies have quantitatively evaluated habitat quality in these areas. Our main objective was to evaluate the habitat quality of back and main channel areas for several species using habitat suitability index (HSI) models. To test the effectiveness of these models, we attempted to relate HSI scores and the variables measured for each model with measures of relative abundance for the model species. The mean belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) HSI was greater on the main than back channel. However, the model failed to predict kingfisher abundance. The mean reproduction component of the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) HSI, total common muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) HSI, winter cover component of the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) HSI, and brood-rearing component of the wood duck (Aix sponsa) HSI were all greater on the back than main channel, and were positively related with the relative abundance of each species. We found that island back channels provide characteristics not found elsewhere on the Ohio River and warrant conservation as important riparian wildlife habitat. The effectiveness of using HSI models to predict species abundance on the river was mixed. Modifications to several of the models are needed to improve their use on the Ohio River and, likely, other large rivers.
Groen, Niko M.; Kentie, Rosemarie; de Goeij, Petra; Verheijen, Bram; Piersma, Theunis; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.
For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we
Groen, N.M.; Kentie, R.; de Goeij, P.; Verheijen, B.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.
For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we
Full Text Available The territorial behavior of the red-whiskered bulbul, Pycnonotus jocosus, was studied in the semiwild habitat of a bird farm compound in the District of Chana, Songkhla Province, the south of Thailand. The male and female birds were bred and reared in the farm till they reached maturity following which they were released to the wild. A mating pair was later formed and their territory established in the farm area. A decoy was used to simulate a natural intruder to the defended area. Ten test stations were sited in the four cardinal points of the compass and with reference to the farmhouse. The experiments were conducted during the pre-nesting and nesting periods. It was found that territorial boundary was marked by the resident male’s aggressive calls and threat displays to the decoy. The territory covered an area of approximately 0.3 hectare in which it was used for foraging and nesting. The size remained the same in both pre-nesting and nesting periods, but the territorial behavior during the nesting period was evidently more vigorous than that in the pre-nesting period. The intensities of territorial behavior had been hypothesized to be associated with diurnal foraging rhythms. But the finding was contradictory to this prediction. There was no significant difference in the intensity of territorial behavior (P > 0.05 at the three time regimes in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon. It was suggested that the resident bird’s aggressive behavior might be associated with the degree of hunger pang.
Groen, N.M.; Kentie, R.; de Goeij, P.; Verheijen, B.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.
For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we provide a quantitative characterization of agricultural habitats and their use by Black-tailed Godwits Limosa I. limosa in the south-western part of the province of Friesland, The Netherlands, in ...
Lewis, Michael A. [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561 (United States)]. E-mail: email@example.com; Dantin, Darrin D. [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561 (United States); Chancy, Cynthia A. [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, 1 Sabine Island Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561 (United States); Abel, Kathryn C. [Department of Biological Sciences, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL 32514 (United States); Lewis, Christopher G. [Department of Water and Soil Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32103 (United States)
Contaminant concentrations were determined for media associated with 13 Florida seagrass beds. Concentrations of 10 trace metals were more commonly detected in surface water, sediment and two seagrass species than PAHs, pesticides and PCBs. Concentrations of copper and arsenic in surface water exceeded Florida aquatic life criteria more frequently than other trace elements. Total organic carbon, mercury, chromium, zinc, total chlordane, total PAHs, total PCBs, DDD and DDE were significantly greater in seagrass-rooted sediments than adjacent non-vegetated sediments. Total DDT, DDD, DDE, total chlordane, arsenic, copper and nickel exceeded proposed sediment quality guidelines at six of 13 grass beds. Pesticides, PAHs, and PCBs were below detection in seagrass tissues. Mercury, cadmium, nickel, lead and silver were detected in 50% or more of the tissues for Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass) and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass). Spatial, interspecific and tissue differences were usually an order of magnitude or less. - Some anthropogenic contaminants were prevalent in seagrass and their rooted sediments but the biological significance is unknown.
Full Text Available We applied a river habitat quality (RHQ assessment method to the Hai River Basin (HRB; an important economic centre in China; to obtain baseline information for water quality improvement; river rehabilitation; and watershed management. The results of the assessment showed that the river habitat in the HRB is seriously degraded. Specifically; 42.41% of the sites; accounting for a river length of 3.31 × 104 km; were designated poor and bad. Habitat in the plain areas is seriously deteriorated; and nearly 50% of the sites; accounting for a river length of 1.65 × 104 km; had either poor or bad habitats. River habitat degradation was attributable to the limited width of the riparian zone (≤5 m; lower coverage of riparian vegetation (≤40%; artificial land use patterns (public and industrial land; frequent occurrence of farming on the river banks and high volumes of solid waste (nearly 10 m3; single flow channels; and rare aquatic plants (≤1 category. At the regional scale; intensive artificial land use types caused by urbanization had a significant impact on the RHQ in the HRB. RHQ was significantly and negatively correlated with farmland (r = 1.000; p < 0.01 and urban land (r = 0.998; p < 0.05; and was significantly and positively correlated with grassland and woodland (r = 1.000; p < 0.01. Intensive artificial land use; created through urbanization processes; has led to a loss of the riparian zone and its native vegetation; and has disrupted the lateral connectivity of the rivers. The degradation of the already essentially black rivers is exacerbated by poor longitudinal connectivity (index of connectivity is 2.08–16.56; caused by reservoirs and sluices. For river habitat rehabilitation to be successful; land use patterns need to be changed and reservoirs and sluices will have to be regulated.
Anderson, Alexander S.; Marques, Tiago A.; Shoo, Luke P.; Williams, Stephen E.
Indices of relative abundance do not control for variation in detectability, which can bias density estimates such that ecological processes are difficult to infer. Distance sampling methods can be used to correct for detectability, but in rainforest, where dense vegetation and diverse assemblages complicate sampling, information is lacking about factors affecting their application. Rare species present an additional challenge, as data may be too sparse to fit detection functions. We present analyses of distance sampling data collected for a diverse tropical rainforest bird assemblage across broad elevational and latitudinal gradients in North Queensland, Australia. Using audio and visual detections, we assessed the influence of various factors on Effective Strip Width (ESW), an intuitively useful parameter, since it can be used to calculate an estimate of density from count data. Body size and species exerted the most important influence on ESW, with larger species detectable over greater distances than smaller species. Secondarily, wet weather and high shrub density decreased ESW for most species. ESW for several species also differed between summer and winter, possibly due to seasonal differences in calling behavior. Distance sampling proved logistically intensive in these environments, but large differences in ESW between species confirmed the need to correct for detection probability to obtain accurate density estimates. Our results suggest an evidence-based approach to controlling for factors influencing detectability, and avenues for further work including modeling detectability as a function of species characteristics such as body size and call characteristics. Such models may be useful in developing a calibration for non-distance sampling data and for estimating detectability of rare species. PMID:26110433
Nohner, Joel K.; Lupi, Frank; Taylor, William W.
Lakes provide valuable ecosystem services such as food, drinking water, and recreation, but shoreline development can degrade riparian habitats and lake ecosystems. Easement contracts for specific property rights can encourage conservation practices for enhanced water quality, fish habitat, and wildlife habitat, yet little is known about the easement market. We surveyed inland lake shoreline property owners in Michigan to assess supply of two conservation easements (in riparian and in littoral zones) and identified property and property owner characteristics influencing potential enrollment. Respondents were significantly less likely to enroll in littoral easements if they indicated there was social pressure for manicured lawns and more likely to enroll if they had more formal education, shoreline frontage, naturally occurring riparian plants, ecological knowledge, or if the lake shoreline was more developed. Enrollment in easements in the riparian zone was significantly less likely if property owners indicated social pressure for manicured lawns, but more likely if they had more formal education, naturally occurring riparian plants, or shoreline frontage. When payments were low (conservation outcomes for water quality and habitat.
Full Text Available To understand associations between habitat, individual behaviour, and population development of solitary bees we developed an individual-based model. This model is based on field observations of Osmia rufa (L (Apoideae: Megachilidae and describes population dynamics of solitary bees. Model rules are focused on maternal investment, in particular on the female’s individual decisions about sex and size of progeny. In the present paper, we address the effect of habitat quality on population size and sex ratio. We examine how food availability and the risk of parasitism influence long-term population development. It can be shown how population properties result from individual maternal investment which is described as a functional response to fluctuations of environmental conditions. We found that habitat quality can be expressed in terms of cell construction time. This interface factor influences the rate of open cell parasitism as the risk for a brood cell to be parasitized is positively correlated with the time of its construction. Under conditions of scarce food and under resulting long provision times even low parasitism rates lead to a high extinction risk of the population, whereas in rich habitats probabilities of extinction are low even for high rates of parasitism. For a given level of food and parasitism there is an optimum time for cell construction which minimizes the extinction risk of the population. Model results demonstrate that under fluctuating environmental conditions, decreasing habitat quality leads to a decrease in population size but also to rapid shifts in sex ratio.
Goymann, W; Makomba, M; Urasa, F; Schwabl, I
Why mainly males compete and females take a larger share in parental care remains an exciting question in evolutionary biology. Role-reversed species are of particular interest, because such 'exceptions' help to test the rule. Using mating systems theory as a framework, we compared the reproductive ecology of the two most contrasting coucals with regard to sexual dimorphism and parental care: the black coucal with male-only care and the biparental white-browed coucal. Both species occur in the same lush habitat and face similar ecological conditions, but drastically differ in mating system and sexual dimorphism. Black coucals were migratory and occurred at high breeding densities. With females being obligatory polyandrous and almost twice as heavy as males, black coucals belong to the most extreme vertebrates with reversed sexual dimorphism. Higher variance in reproductive success in fiercely competing females suggests that sexual selection is stronger in females than in males. In contrast, resident white-browed coucals bred at low densities and invariably in pairs. They were almost monomorphic and the variance in reproductive success was similar between the sexes. Black coucals were more likely to lose nests than white-browed coucals, probably facilitating female emancipation of parental care in black coucals. We propose that a combination of high food abundance, high population density, high degree of nest loss and male bias in the adult sex ratio represent ecological conditions that facilitate role reversal and polyandry in coucals and terrestrial vertebrates in general. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Turgeon, Katrine; Kramer, Donald L
1. Populations experiencing localized mortality can recover in the short term by net movement of individuals from adjacent areas, a process called compensatory immigration or spillover. Little is known about the factors influencing the magnitude of compensatory immigration or its impact on source populations. Such information is important for understanding metapopulation dynamics, the use of protected areas for conservation, management of exploited populations and pest control. 2. Using two small, territorial damselfish species (Stegastes diencaeus and S. adustus) in their naturally fragmented habitat, we quantified compensatory immigration in response to localized mortality, assessed its impact on adjacent source populations and examined the importance of potential immigrants, habitat quality and landscape connectivity as limiting factors. On seven experimental sites, we repeatedly removed 15% of the initial population size until none remained and immigration ceased. 3. Immigrants replaced 16-72% of original residents in S. diencaeus and 0-69% in S. adustus. The proportion of the source population that immigrated into depleted areas varied from 9% to 61% in S. diencaeus and from 3% to 21% in S. adustus. In S. diencaeus, compensatory immigration was strongly affected by habitat quality, to a lesser extent by the abundance of potential immigrants and not by landscape connectivity. In S. adustus, immigration was strongly affected by the density of potential migrants and not by habitat quality and landscape connectivity. On two control sites, immigration in the absence of creation of vacancies was extremely rare. 4. Immigration occurred in response to localized mortality and was therefore compensatory. It was highly variable, sometimes producing substantial impacts on both depleted and source populations. The magnitude of compensatory immigration was influenced primarily by the availability of immigrants and by the potential improvement in territory quality that they
The use of wetland treatment systems (WTS), or constructed wetlands, for treating municipal wastewater is increasing in the United States, but little is known about the ability of these systems to duplicate or sustain wetland functions. The pilot study was designed to examine methods and the usefulness of various wetland indicators for assessing the wildlife habitat quality in six WTS sites throughout the United States. The report focusses on two Mississippi sites, one located near Collins, and one near Ocean Springs.
Parents affect offspring fitness by propagule size and quality, selection of oviposition site, quality of incubation, feeding of dependent young, and their defence against predators and parasites. Despite many case studies on each of these topics, this knowledge has not been rigorously integrated into individual parental care traits for any taxon. Consequently, we lack a comprehensive, quantitative assessment of how parental care modifies offspring phenotypes. This meta-analysis of 283 studies with 1805 correlations between egg size and offspring quality in birds is intended to fill this gap. The large sample size enabled testing of how the magnitude of the relationship between egg size and offspring quality depends on a number of variables. Egg size was positively related to nearly all studied offspring traits across all stages of the offspring life cycle. Not surprisingly, the relationship was strongest at hatching but persisted until the post-fledging stage. Morphological traits were the most closely related to egg size but significant relationships were also found with hatching success, chick survival, and growth rate. Non-significant effect sizes were found for egg fertility, chick immunity, behaviour, and life-history or sexual traits. Effect size did not depend on whether chicks were raised by their natural parents or were cross-fostered to other territories. Effect size did not depend on species-specific traits such as developmental mode, clutch size, and relative size of the egg, but was larger if tested in captive compared to wild populations and between rather than within broods. In sum, published studies support the view that egg size affects juvenile survival. There are very few studies that tested the relationship between egg size and the fecundity component of offspring fitness, and no studies on offspring survival as adults or on global fitness. More data are also needed for the relationships between egg size and offspring behavioural and
Joseph R. Benjamin; Jason B. Dunham; Matthew R. Dare
Theoretical models and empirical evidence suggest that the invasion of nonnative species in freshwaters is facilitated through the interaction of three factors: habitat quality, biotic resistance, and connectivity. We measured variables that represented each factor to determine which were associated with the occurrence of nonnative brook trout Salvelinus...
Kalarus, Konrad; Nowicki, Piotr
Most studies dealing with species distribution patterns on fragmented landscapes focus on the characteristics of habitat patches that influence local occurrence and abundance, but they tend to neglect the question of what drives colonization of previously unoccupied patches. In a study of the dryad butterfly, we combined classical approaches derived from metapopulation theory and landscape ecology to investigate the factors driving colonization from a recent refugium. In three consecutive transect surveys, we recorded the presence and numbers of imagos in 27 patches of xerothermic grassland and 26 patches of wet meadow. Among the predictors affecting the occurrence and abundance of the dryad, we considered environmental variables reflecting (i) habitat patch quality (e.g., goldenrod cover, shrub density, vegetation height); (ii) factors associated with habitat spatial structure (patch size, patch isolation and fragmentation); and (iii) features of patch surroundings (100-m buffers around patches) that potentially pose barriers or provide corridors. Patch colonization by the dryad was strongly limited by the distance from the species refugium in the region; there was a slight positive effect of shrub density in this respect. Butterfly abundance increased in smaller and more fragmented habitat patches; it was negatively impacted by invasive goldenrod cover, and positively influenced by the density of watercourses in patch surroundings. Nectar plant availability was positively related to species abundance in xerothermic grassland, while in wet meadow the effect was the reverse. We conclude that dryad colonization of our study area is very recent, since the most important factor limiting colonization was distance from the refugium, while the habitat quality of target patches had less relevance. In order to preserve the species, conservation managers should focus on enhancing the quality of large patches and should also direct their efforts on smaller and more
Full Text Available Most studies dealing with species distribution patterns on fragmented landscapes focus on the characteristics of habitat patches that influence local occurrence and abundance, but they tend to neglect the question of what drives colonization of previously unoccupied patches. In a study of the dryad butterfly, we combined classical approaches derived from metapopulation theory and landscape ecology to investigate the factors driving colonization from a recent refugium. In three consecutive transect surveys, we recorded the presence and numbers of imagos in 27 patches of xerothermic grassland and 26 patches of wet meadow. Among the predictors affecting the occurrence and abundance of the dryad, we considered environmental variables reflecting (i habitat patch quality (e.g., goldenrod cover, shrub density, vegetation height; (ii factors associated with habitat spatial structure (patch size, patch isolation and fragmentation; and (iii features of patch surroundings (100-m buffers around patches that potentially pose barriers or provide corridors. Patch colonization by the dryad was strongly limited by the distance from the species refugium in the region; there was a slight positive effect of shrub density in this respect. Butterfly abundance increased in smaller and more fragmented habitat patches; it was negatively impacted by invasive goldenrod cover, and positively influenced by the density of watercourses in patch surroundings. Nectar plant availability was positively related to species abundance in xerothermic grassland, while in wet meadow the effect was the reverse. We conclude that dryad colonization of our study area is very recent, since the most important factor limiting colonization was distance from the refugium, while the habitat quality of target patches had less relevance. In order to preserve the species, conservation managers should focus on enhancing the quality of large patches and should also direct their efforts on smaller and
Reeves, Rebecca A.; Pierce, Clay; Smalling, Kelly L.; Klaver, Robert W.; Vandever, Mark W.; Battaglin, William A.; Muths, Erin L.
Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due, partly, to habitat loss. Conservation practices on the landscape restore wetlands to denitrify tile drainage effluent and restore ecosystem services. Understanding how water quality, hydroperiod, predation, and disease affect amphibians in restored wetlands is central to maintaining healthy amphibian populations in the region. We examined the quality of amphibian habitat in restored wetlands relative to reference wetlands by comparing species richness, developmental stress, and adult leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) survival probabilities to a suite of environmental metrics. Although measured habitat variables differed between restored and reference wetlands, differences appeared to have sub-lethal rather than lethal effects on resident amphibian populations. There were few differences in amphibian species richness and no difference in estimated survival probabilities between wetland types. Restored wetlands had more nitrate and alkaline pH, longer hydroperiods, and were deeper, whereas reference wetlands had more amphibian chytrid fungus zoospores in water samples and resident amphibians exhibited increased developmental stress. Restored and reference wetlands are both important components of the landscape in central Iowa and maintaining a complex of fish-free wetlands with a variety of hydroperiods will likely contribute to the persistence of amphibians in this landscape.
Van Dolah, Robert F; Riekerk, George H M; Bergquist, Derk C; Felber, Jordan; Chestnut, David E; Holland, A Fredrick
Land cover patterns were evaluated in 29 estuarine watersheds of South Carolina to determine relationships between urban/suburban development and estuarine habitat quality. Principal components analysis and Pearson product moment correlation analyses were used to examine the relationships between ten land cover categories and selected measures of nutrient or bacterial enrichment in the water column and contaminant enrichment in sediments. These analyses indicated strong relationships between land cover categories representing upland development and a composite measure of 24 inorganic and organic contaminants using the Effect Range Median-Quotient (ERM-Q). Similar relationships also were observed for the summed concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, and metals. Data obtained from tidal creeks generally showed stronger correlations between urban/suburban land use and pesticides and metals compared to data obtained from larger open water habitats. Correlations between PAH concentrations and the urban/suburban land cover categories were similar between creek and open water habitats. PCB concentrations generally showed very little relationship to any of the land cover categories. Measures of nutrient enrichment, which included total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), nitrate-nitrite, phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, and total organic carbon, were generally not significantly correlated with any land cover categories, whereas fecal coliform bacteria were significantly and positively correlated with the urban/suburban land cover categories and negatively correlated with the non-urban land cover categories. Fecal coliform correlations were stronger using data from the open water sites than from the tidal creek sites. Both ERM-Q and fecal coliform concentrations were much greater and more pervasive in watersheds with relatively high (>50%) urban/suburban cover compared to watersheds with low (urban/suburban cover. These
Full Text Available Rice is often damaged by birds, especially sparrows, in Asia. Bird nets are sometimes used as countermeasures; however this approach is expensive and labor intensive. For this reason, farmers generally eschew bird nets, even though no alternative countermeasures are available. This study focused on exploiting the bird behavior of scanning for predators to reduce crop damage. When birds forage for seeds on the ground they often stop pecking and briefly raise their heads, apparently to scan for predators. Low visibility habitats increase scanning behavior and increased scanning behavior reduces habitat quality from the bird’s perspective; therefore, this study tested the relationship between rice damage rate and visibility at the periphery of rice fields, where tree sparrows rest after feeding. Overall, low visibility reduced damage to rice. Because visibility was mainly affected by weeds, weed management techniques contribute to crop damage management. To reduce damage, weeding can be decreased; therefore, this technique is cost- and labor-efficient.
Full Text Available The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP is a voluntary set-aside program in the United States designed to amelioratesoil erosion, control crop overproduction, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife habitat by replacing crops with other forms of land cover. Because CRP includes primarily grass habitats, it has great potential to benefitdeclining North American grassland bird populations. We looked at the change in national and state population trends of grassland birds and related changes to cover-specific CRP variables (previous research grouped all CRP practices. Changes in national trends after the initiation of the CRP were inconclusive, but we observed signficant bird-CRP relations at the state level. Most bird-CRP relations were positive, except for some species associated with habitats that CRP replaced. Practice- and configuration-specific CRP variables were related to grassland bird trends, rather than a generic measure of all CRP types combined. Considering all CRP land as a single, distinct habitat type may obscure actual relations between birds and set-aside characteristics. Understanding and predictingthe effects of set-aside programs (like CRP or agri-environment schemes on grassland birds is complex and difficult. Because available broad-scale datasets are less than adequate, studies should be conducted at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.
Students use a dead bird to learn about bird life, anatomy, and death. Students examine a bird body and discuss what happened to the bird. Uses outdoor education as a resource for learning about animals. (SAH)
Full Text Available The effects of environmental perturbations or stressors on individual states can be carried over to subsequent life stages and ultimately affect survival and reproduction. The concentration of corticosterone (CORT in feathers is an integrated measure of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity during the molting period, providing information on the total baseline and stress-induced CORT secreted during the period of feather growth. Common eiders and greater snow geese replace all flight feathers once a year during the pre-basic molt, which occurs following breeding. Thus, CORT contained in feathers of pre-breeding individuals sampled in spring reflects the total CORT secreted during the previous molting event, which may provide insight into the magnitude or extent of stress experienced during this time period. We used data from multiple recaptures to disentangle the contribution of individual quality vs. external factors (i.e., breeding investment or environmental conditions on feather CORT in arctic-nesting waterfowl. Our results revealed no repeatability of feather CORT within individuals of either species. In common eiders, feather CORT was not affected by prior reproductive investment, nor by pre-breeding (spring body condition prior to the molting period. Individual feather CORT greatly varied according to the year, and August-September temperatures explained most of the annual variation in feather CORT. Understanding mechanisms that affect energetic costs and stress responses during molting will require further studies either using long-term data or experiments. Although our study period encompassed only five years, it nonetheless provides evidence that CORT measured in feathers likely reflects responses to environmental conditions experienced by birds during molt, and could be used as a metric to study carry-over effects.
Legagneux, Pierre; Harms, N Jane; Gauthier, Gilles; Chastel, Olivier; Gilchrist, H Grant; Bortolotti, Gary; Bêty, Joël; Soos, Catherine
The effects of environmental perturbations or stressors on individual states can be carried over to subsequent life stages and ultimately affect survival and reproduction. The concentration of corticosterone (CORT) in feathers is an integrated measure of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity during the molting period, providing information on the total baseline and stress-induced CORT secreted during the period of feather growth. Common eiders and greater snow geese replace all flight feathers once a year during the pre-basic molt, which occurs following breeding. Thus, CORT contained in feathers of pre-breeding individuals sampled in spring reflects the total CORT secreted during the previous molting event, which may provide insight into the magnitude or extent of stress experienced during this time period. We used data from multiple recaptures to disentangle the contribution of individual quality vs. external factors (i.e., breeding investment or environmental conditions) on feather CORT in arctic-nesting waterfowl. Our results revealed no repeatability of feather CORT within individuals of either species. In common eiders, feather CORT was not affected by prior reproductive investment, nor by pre-breeding (spring) body condition prior to the molting period. Individual feather CORT greatly varied according to the year, and August-September temperatures explained most of the annual variation in feather CORT. Understanding mechanisms that affect energetic costs and stress responses during molting will require further studies either using long-term data or experiments. Although our study period encompassed only five years, it nonetheless provides evidence that CORT measured in feathers likely reflects responses to environmental conditions experienced by birds during molt, and could be used as a metric to study carry-over effects.
Podlesak, David W; McWilliams, Scott R
During fall migration many songbirds switch from consuming primarily insects to consuming mostly fruit. Fruits with more carbohydrates and less protein may be sufficient to rebuild expended fat stores, but such fruits may be inadequate to replace catabolized protein. We manipulated the concentrations and isotopic signatures of macronutrients in diets fed to birds to study the effects of diet quality on metabolic routing of dietary nutrients. We estimated that approximately 45% and 75%, respectively, of the carbon in proteinaceous tissue of birds switched to high- or low-protein diets came from nonprotein dietary sources. In contrast, we estimated that approximately 100% and 20%-80%, respectively, of the nitrogen in proteinaceous tissues of birds switched to high- or low-protein diets was attributable to dietary protein. Thus, the routing and assimilation of dietary carbon and nitrogen differed depending on diet composition. As a result, delta (15)N of tissues collected from wild animals that consume high-quality diets may reliably indicate the dietary protein source, whereas delta (13)C of these same tissues is likely the product of metabolic routing of carbon from several macronutrients. These results have implications for how isotopic discrimination is best estimated and how we can study macronutrient routing in wild animals.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, pelagic birds, passerine birds, and gulls...
Brehmer, P.; Laugier, T.; Kantoussan, J.; Galgani, F.; Mouillot, D.
Ensuring the sustainability of fish resources necessitates understanding their interaction with coastal habitats, which is becoming ever more challenging in the context of ever increasing anthropogenic pressures. The ability of coastal lagoons, exposed to major sources of disturbance, to provide resources and suitable habitats for growth and survival of juvenile fish is especially important. We analysed three lagoons with different ecological statuses and habitat quality on the basis of their eutrophication and ecotoxicity (Trix test) levels. Fish abundances were sampled using fishing and horizontal beaming acoustic surveys with the same protocols in the same year. The relative abundance of Anguilla anguilla, Dicentrarchus labrax or the Mugilidae group was not an indicator of habitat quality, whereas Atherina boyeri and Sparus aurata appeared to be more sensitive to habitat quality. Fish abundance was higher in the two lagoons with high eutrophication and ecotoxicity levels than in the less impacted lagoon, while fish sizes were significantly higher in the two most severely impacted lagoons. This leads us to suggest low habitat quality may increase fish growth rate (by the mean of a cascading effect), but may reduce lagoon juvenile abundance by increasing larval mortality. Such a hypothesis needs to be further validated using greater investigations which take into account more influences on fish growth and recruitment in such variable environments under complex multi-stressor conditions.
von Post, Maria; Borgström, Pernilla; Smith, Henrik G; Olsson, Ola
Having historically been abundant throughout Europe, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) has in recent decades suffered severe population declines in many urban and rural areas. The decline in rural environments is believed to be caused by agricultural intensification, which has resulted in landscape simplification. We used giving-up densities (GUDs) of house sparrows feeding in artificial food patches placed in farmlands of southern Sweden to determine habitat quality during the breeding season at two different spatial scales: the landscape and the patch scale. At the landscape scale, GUDs were lower on farms in homogeneous landscapes dominated by crop production compared to more heterogeneous landscapes with mixed farming or animal husbandry. At the patch level, feeding patches with a higher predation risk (caused by fitting a wall to the patch to obstruct vigilance) had higher GUDs. In addition, GUDs were positively related to population size, which strongly implies that GUDs reflect habitat quality. However, the increase followed different patterns in homogeneous and heterogeneous landscapes, indicating differing population limiting mechanisms in these two environments. We found no effect of the interaction between patch type and landscape type, suggesting that predation risk was similar in both landscape types. Thus, our study suggests that simplified landscapes constitute a poorer feeding environment for house sparrows during breeding, that the population-regulating mechanisms in the landscapes differ, but that predation risk is the same across the landscape types.
Daniel P. Shustack
Full Text Available Although studies often report that densities of many forest birds are negatively related to urbanization, the mechanisms guiding this pattern are poorly understood. Our objective was to use a population simulation to examine the relative influence of six demographic and behavioral processes on patterns of avian abundance in urbanizing landscapes. We constructed an individual-based population simulation model representing the annual cycle of a Neotropical migratory songbird. Each simulation was performed under two landscape scenarios. The first scenario had similar proportions of high- and low-quality habitat across the urban to rural gradient. Under the first scenario, avian density was negatively related to urbanization only when rural habitats were perceived to be of higher quality than they actually were. The second landscape scenario had declining proportions of high-quality habitat as urbanization increased. Under the second scenario, each mechanism generated a negative relationship between density and urbanization. The strongest effect on density resulted when birds preferentially selected habitats in landscapes from which they fledged or were constrained from dispersing. The next strongest patterns occurred when birds directly evaluated habitat quality and accurately selected the highest-quality available territories. When birds selected habitats based on the presence of conspecifics, the density-urbanization relationship was only one-third the strength of other habitat selection mechanisms and only occurred under certain levels of population survival. Although differences in adult or nest survival in the face of random habitat selection still elicited reduced densities in urban landscapes, the relationships between urbanization and density were weaker than those produced by the conspecific attraction mechanism. Results from our study identify key predictions and areas for future research, including assessing habitat quality in urban and
Soniat, Thomas M.; Conzelmann, Craig P.; Byrd, Jason D.; Roszell, Dustin P.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.; Suir, Kevin J.; Colley, Susan B.
In an attempt to decelerate the rate of coastal erosion and wetland loss, and protect human communities, the state of Louisiana developed its Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. The master plan proposes a combination of restoration efforts including shoreline protection, marsh creation, sediment diversions, and ridge, barrier island, and hydrological restoration. Coastal restoration projects, particularly the large-scale diversions of fresh water from the Mississippi River, needed to supply sediment to an eroding coast potentially impact oyster populations and oyster habitat. An oyster habitat suitability index model is presented that evaluates the effects of a proposed sediment and freshwater diversion into Lower Breton Sound. Voluminous freshwater, needed to suspend and broadly distribute river sediment, will push optimal salinities for oysters seaward and beyond many of the existing reefs. Implementation and operation of the Lower Breton Sound diversion structure as proposed would render about 6,173 ha of hard bottom immediately east of the Mississippi River unsuitable for the sustained cultivation of oysters. If historical harvests are to be maintained in this region, a massive and unprecedented effort to relocate private leases and restore oyster bottoms would be required. Habitat suitability index model results indicate that the appropriate location for such efforts are to the east and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.
Bos, D; Drent, RH; Rubinigg, M; Stahl, J
We studied the relative importance of food biomass and food quality for habitat preference in Brent Geese Branta bernicla by expefimentally manipulating forage parameters. Levels of biomass and ford quality (nitrogen content) were independently enhanced in plots of 2 x 6 m by temporary exclusion
Krebs, Justin M.; Bell, Susan S.; McIvor, Carole C.
To assess the potential influence of coastal development on habitat quality for estuarine nekton, we characterized body condition and reproduction for common nekton from tidal tributaries classified as undeveloped, industrial, urban or man-made (i.e., mosquito-control ditches). We then evaluated these metrics of nekton performance, along with several abundance-based metrics and community structure from a companion paper (Krebs et al. 2013) to determine which metrics best reflected variation in land-use and in-stream habitat among tributaries. Body condition was not significantly different among undeveloped, industrial, and man-made tidal tributaries for six of nine taxa; however, three of those taxa were in significantly better condition in urban compared to undeveloped tributaries. Palaemonetes shrimp were the only taxon in significantly poorer condition in urban tributaries. For Poecilia latipinna, there was no difference in body condition (length–weight) between undeveloped and urban tributaries, but energetic condition was significantly better in urban tributaries. Reproductive output was reduced for both P. latipinna (i.e., fecundity) and grass shrimp (i.e., very low densities, few ovigerous females) in urban tributaries; however a tradeoff between fecundity and offspring size confounded meaningful interpretation of reproduction among land-use classes for P. latipinna. Reproductive allotment by P. latipinna did not differ significantly among land-use classes. Canonical correspondence analysis differentiated urban and non-urban tributaries based on greater impervious surface, less natural mangrove shoreline, higher frequency of hypoxia and lower, more variable salinities in urban tributaries. These characteristics explained 36 % of the variation in nekton performance, including high densities of poeciliid fishes, greater energetic condition of sailfin mollies, and low densities of several common nekton and economically important taxa from urban tributaries
Harriman, Vanessa B; Dawson, Russell D; Bortolotti, Lauren E; Clark, Robert G
For organisms in seasonal environments, individuals that breed earlier in the season regularly attain higher fitness than their late-breeding counterparts. Two primary hypotheses have been proposed to explain these patterns: The quality hypothesis contends that early breeders are of better phenotypic quality or breed on higher quality territories, whereas the date hypothesis predicts that seasonally declining reproductive success is a response to a seasonal deterioration in environmental quality. In birds, food availability is thought to drive deteriorating environmental conditions, but few experimental studies have demonstrated its importance while also controlling for parental quality. We tested predictions of the date hypothesis in tree swallows ( Tachycineta bicolor ) over two breeding seasons and in two locations within their breeding range in Canada. Nests were paired by clutch initiation date to control for parental quality, and we delayed the hatching date of one nest within each pair. Subsequently, brood sizes were manipulated to mimic changes in per capita food abundance, and we examined the effects of manipulations, as well as indices of environmental and parental quality, on nestling quality, fledging success, and return rates. Reduced reproductive success of late-breeding individuals was causally related to a seasonal decline in environmental quality. Declining insect biomass and enlarged brood sizes resulted in nestlings that were lighter, in poorer body condition, structurally smaller, had shorter and slower growing flight feathers and were less likely to survive to fledge. Our results provide evidence for the importance of food resources in mediating seasonal declines in offspring quality and survival.
Amininasab, Seyed Mehdi
Birds have specific energetic requirements which likely depend on the habitat type they inhabit and on specific individual traits. Here, I investigated the effects of environmental quality (habitat quality and ambient temperature) and individual quality (age and/or lifespan) on features of
Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Galán, Pedro
Most examples that support the substitution-habitat hypothesis (human-made habitats act as substitutes of original habitat) deal with birds and mammals. We tested this hypothesis in 14 amphibians by using percentage occupancy as a proxy of habitat quality (i.e., higher occupancy percentages indicate higher quality). We classified water body types as original habitat (no or little human influence) depending on anatomical, behavioral, or physiological adaptations of each amphibian species. Ten species had relatively high probabilities (0.16-0.28) of occurrence in original habitat, moderate probability of occurrence in substitution habitats (0.11-0.14), and low probability of occurrence in refuge habitats (0.05-0.08). Thus, the substitution-habitat hypothesis only partially applies to amphibians because the low occupancy of refuges could be due to the negligible human persecution of this group (indicating good conservation status). However, low occupancy of refuges could also be due to low tolerance of refuge conditions, which could have led to selective extinction or colonization problems due to poor dispersal capabilities. That original habitats had the highest probabilities of occupancy suggests amphibians have a good conservation status in the region. They also appeared highly adaptable to anthropogenic substitution habitats. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.
O'Neil, Shawn T.; Warren, Jeffrey M.; Takekawa, John Y.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Cutting, Kyle A.; Parker, Michael W.; Yee, Julie L.
Prebreeding habitat selection in birds can often be explained in part by habitat characteristics. However, females may also select habitats on the basis of fidelity to areas of previous reproductive success or use by conspecifics. The relative influences of sociobehavioural attributes versus habitat characteristics in habitat selection has been primarily investigated in songbirds, while less is known about how these factors affect habitat selection processes in migratory waterfowl. Animal resource selection models often exhibit much unexplained variation; spatial patterns driven by social and behavioural characteristics may account for some of this. We radiomarked female lesser scaup, Aythya affinis, in the southwestern extent of their breeding range to explore hypotheses regarding relative roles of habitat quality, site fidelity and conspecific density in prebreeding habitat selection. We used linear mixed-effects models to relate intensity of use within female home ranges to habitat features, distance to areas of reproductive success during the previous breeding season and conspecific density. Home range habitats included shallow water (≤118 cm), moderate to high densities of flooded emergent vegetation/open water edge and open water areas with submerged aquatic vegetation. Compared with habitat features, conspecific female density and proximity to successful nesting habitats from the previous breeding season had greater influences on habitat use within home ranges. Fidelity and conspecific attraction are behavioural characteristics in some waterfowl species that may exert a greater influence than habitat features in influencing prebreeding space use and habitat selection within home ranges, particularly where quality habitat is abundant. These processes may be of critical importance to a better understanding of habitat selection in breeding birds.
Han, Zhi-Fu; Hu, Gao-Sheng; Li, Na; Fan, Xing; Jia, Jing-Ming
To determine the contents of lignans, crude polysaccharides (CP) and total phenolic compounds (TPC) of Schisandra chinensis from various habitats in Liaoning province and evaluate their quality and free radical scavenging (FRS) activity. Contents of schisandrol, deoxyschizandrin and schisandrin B were determined by RP-HPLC. Contents of TPC, CP and FRS activity were determined by Folin-Cicalteu's, phenol-sulfuric acid and DPPH x method, respectively. Sample from Liaoyang city had the highest contents of lignans (21.75 mg/g); Sample from Shenbei New district of Shenyang city had the highest contents of CP (88.72 mg/g); Sample from Guanmenshan district of Benxi city had the highest contents of TPC and FRS activity (26.06 mg/g and 86.3%, respectively). Linear regression analysis results showed that contents of TPC had higher correlation coefficient with FRS activity than that of lignans. Their linear regression equations were Y = 1.3677X + 46.97, R2 = 0.6869 and Y = 2.5916X + 57.927, R2 = 0.1747 for TPC and lignans with FRS activity, respectively. The contents of lignans, CP and TPC are significantly different from samples collected from various habitats in Liaoning province. The main antioxidative substances are TPC, and lignans have no significant correlation with FRS activity.
The positive association between habitat heterogeneity and species diversity has been well-documented for many taxa at various spatial and temporal scales, and the maintenance of habitat heterogeneity in agricultural landscapes has been promoted as a key strategy in efforts to conserve biodiversity....
Virgil E. Scott; Keith E. Evans; David R. Patton; Charles P. Stone
Many species of cavity-nesting birds have declined because of habitat reduction. In the eastern United States, where primeval forests are gone, purple martins depend almost entirely on man-made nesting structures (Allen and Nice 1952). The hole-nesting population of peregrine falcons disappeared with the felling of the giant trees upon which they depended (Hickey and...
Brothers, Chris; Fortner, Rosanne W.
This teacher guide and student workbook set contains two learning activities, designed for fifth through ninth grade students, that concentrate on the adaptations of shorebird beaks for a variety of habitats and food sources, and the effect of toxic chemicals in the food chain on the birds. In activity A, students discover how shorebirds are…
Robles, Hugo; Ciudad, Carlos
Despite extensive research on the effects of habitat fragmentation, the ecological mechanisms underlying colonization and extinction processes are poorly known, but knowledge of these mechanisms is essential to understanding the distribution and persistence of populations in fragmented habitats. We examined these mechanisms through multiseason occupancy models that elucidated patch-occupancy dynamics of Middle Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos medius) in northwestern Spain. The number of occupied patches was relatively stable from 2000 to 2010 (15-24% of 101 patches occupied every year) because extinction was balanced by recolonization. Larger and higher quality patches (i.e., higher density of oaks >37 cm dbh [diameter at breast height]) were more likely to be occupied. Habitat quality (i.e., density of large oaks) explained more variation in patch colonization and extinction than did patch size and connectivity, which were both weakly associated with probabilities of turnover. Patches of higher quality were more likely to be colonized than patches of lower quality. Populations in high-quality patches were less likely to become extinct. In addition, extinction in a patch was strongly associated with local population size but not with patch size, which means the latter may not be a good surrogate of population size in assessments of extinction probability. Our results suggest that habitat quality may be a primary driver of patch-occupancy dynamics and may increase the accuracy of models of population survival. We encourage comparisons of competing models that assess occupancy, colonization, and extinction probabilities in a single analytical framework (e.g., dynamic occupancy models) so as to shed light on the association of habitat quality and patch geometry with colonization and extinction processes in different settings and species. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.
Benjamin, Joseph R.; Dunham, Jason B.; Dare, M.R.
Theoretical models and empirical evidence suggest that the invasion of nonnative species in freshwaters is facilitated through the interaction of three factors: habitat quality, biotic resistance, and connectivity. We measured variables that represented each factor to determine which were associated with the occurrence of nonnative brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis in Panther Creek, a tributary to the Salmon River, Idaho. Habitat variables included measures of summer and winter temperature, instream cover, and channel size. The abundance of native rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss within sampled sites was used as a measure of biotic resistance. We also considered the connectivity of sample sites to unconfined valley bottoms, which were considered habitats that may serve as sources for the spread of established populations of brook trout. We analyzed the occurrence of small (<150‐mm [fork length]) and large (≥150‐mm) brook trout separately, assuming that the former represents an established invasion while accounting for the higher potential mobility of the latter. The occurrence of small brook trout was strongly associated with the proximity of sites to large, unconstrained valley bottoms, providing evidence that such habitats may serve as sources for the spread of brook trout invasion. Within sites, winter degree‐days and maximum summer temperature were positively associated with the occurrence of small brook trout. The occurrence of large brook trout was not related to any of the variables considered, perhaps due to the difficulty of linking site‐specific habitat factors to larger and more mobile individuals. The abundance of rainbow trout was not conclusively associated with the occurrence of either small or large brook trout, providing little support for the role of biotic resistance. Overall, our results suggest that source connectivity and local habitat characteristics, but not biotic resistance, influence the establishment and spread of
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...
habitats with those in rural habitats. Some species have decreased the frequency of migrants and migration distance in urban environments, and others have not. The other manuscript describes the small scale movements of three different Palaearctic migrants during winter in Africa in a farmland habitat....... In another species, environmental conditions are not a good predictor of movements, and possibly effects of timing constraints or food type play a role. Two manuscripts focus on the effects of human-induced habitat alterations on migratory behaviour. One compares the movements of partial migrants in urban...... and a forest reserve. In the degraded habitat all species used more space, although the consequence on bird density is less clear. Two manuscripts relate the migratory movements of a long-distance migrant with models of navigation. One compares model predictions obtained by simulation with actual movements...
Joseph R. Benjamin
Theoretical models suggest the invasion of nonnative freshwater species is facilitated through the interaction of three factors: biotic resistance, habitat quality, and connectivity. We measured variables that represented each component to determine which were associated with small (150 mm) brook trout occurrence in Panther Creek, a tributary...
Árnason, Sighvatur S; Elbrønd (Bibs), Vibeke Sødring; Laverty, Gary
Dietary salt intake in domestic fowl affects epithelial transport and morphology of the lower intestine (colon and coprodeum). This study investigated lower intestinal morphology and transport activity in two wild bird species with natural diets containing either low or high salt. Tissues from rock...
We describe and illustrate Niditinea sabroskyi new species, a species mostly associated with bird nests. We provide diagnostic information to distinguish the new species from the other two species occurring in the United States, Niditinea fuscella (Linnaeus, 1758) and Niditinea orleansella (Chambers...
Juan M Requena-Mullor
Full Text Available As climate change is expected to have a significant impact on species distributions, there is an urgent challenge to provide reliable information to guide conservation biodiversity policies. In addressing this challenge, we propose a remote sensing-based approach to forecast the future habitat quality for European badger, a species not abundant and at risk of local extinction in the arid environments of southeastern Spain, by incorporating environmental variables related with the ecosystem functioning and correlated with climate and land use. Using ensemble prediction methods, we designed global spatial distribution models for the distribution range of badger using presence-only data and climate variables. Then, we constructed regional models for an arid region in the southeast Spain using EVI (Enhanced Vegetation Index derived variables and weighting the pseudo-absences with the global model projections applied to this region. Finally, we forecast the badger potential spatial distribution in the time period 2071-2099 based on IPCC scenarios incorporating the uncertainty derived from the predicted values of EVI-derived variables. By including remotely sensed descriptors of the temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of ecosystem functioning into spatial distribution models, results suggest that future forecast is less favorable for European badgers than not including them. In addition, change in spatial pattern of habitat suitability may become higher than when forecasts are based just on climate variables. Since the validity of future forecast only based on climate variables is currently questioned, conservation policies supported by such information could have a biased vision and overestimate or underestimate the potential changes in species distribution derived from climate change. The incorporation of ecosystem functional attributes derived from remote sensing in the modeling of future forecast may contribute to the improvement of the
Freitas, Vânia; Campos, Joana; Skreslet, Stig; van der Veer, Henk W.
Habitat quality of a subarctic nursery ground in northern Norway for 0-group plaice Pleuronectes platessa was investigated by following settlement, mortality and growth during 2005 and 2006. Newly settled individuals were first observed in the end of May to early June and settlement lasted until mid-July. Densities peaked in early July and were comparable to those reported in temperate nursery grounds. Mortality estimates after settlement differed between 0.062 d -1 in 2005 and 0.025 d -1 in 2006. Potential predators appeared to be rather similar as those reported in other areas: the brown shrimp Crangoncrangon, the shore crab Carcinus maenas and demersal fish species (gadoids). Population mean growth indicated linear growth until August leveling-off afterwards. 0-group plaice reached a lower mean size (5-6 cm) at the end of the growing season than in temperate areas probably due to later settlement timing in combination with lower summer-autumn water temperatures. The comparison of observed growth rates with predictions of maximum growth models indicated a similar pattern as observed in temperate nursery grounds: Growth appeared to be maximal except for the period after summer. Whether or not this was related to changes in food quality throughout the season, to interspecies competition or to emigration remains to be elucidated.
Heather L. Bateman; Margaret A. O' Connell
Primary cavity-nesting birds play a critical role in forest ecosystems by excavating cavities later used by other birds and mammals as nesting or roosting sites. Several species of cavity-nesting birds are non-migratory residents and consequently subject to winter conditions. We conducted winter bird counts from 1998 to 2000 to examine the abundance and habitat...
Hu, Han; O’Connor, Jingmai K.; Zhou, Zhonghe
We describe a new enantiornithine bird, Parapengornis eurycaudatus gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning, China. Although morphologically similar to previously described pengornithids Pengornis houi, Pengornis IVPP V18632, and Eopengornis martini, morphological differences indicate it represents a new taxon of the Pengornithidae. Based on new information from this specimen we reassign IVPP V18632 to Parapengornis sp. The well preserved pygostyle of the new specimen elucidates the morphology of this element for the clade, which is unique in pengornithids among Mesozoic birds. Similarities with modern scansores such as woodpeckers may indicate a specialized vertical climbing and clinging behavior that has not previously been inferred for early birds. The new specimen preserves a pair of fully pennaceous rachis-dominated feathers like those in the holotype of Eopengornis martini; together with the unique morphology of the pygostyle, this discovery lends evidence to early hypotheses that rachis-dominated feathers may have had a functional significance. This discovery adds to the diversity of ecological niches occupied by enantiornithines and if correct reveals are remarkable amount of locomotive differentiation among Enantiornithes. PMID:26039693
Full Text Available We describe a new enantiornithine bird, Parapengornis eurycaudatus gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning, China. Although morphologically similar to previously described pengornithids Pengornis houi, Pengornis IVPP V18632, and Eopengornis martini, morphological differences indicate it represents a new taxon of the Pengornithidae. Based on new information from this specimen we reassign IVPP V18632 to Parapengornis sp. The well preserved pygostyle of the new specimen elucidates the morphology of this element for the clade, which is unique in pengornithids among Mesozoic birds. Similarities with modern scansores such as woodpeckers may indicate a specialized vertical climbing and clinging behavior that has not previously been inferred for early birds. The new specimen preserves a pair of fully pennaceous rachis-dominated feathers like those in the holotype of Eopengornis martini; together with the unique morphology of the pygostyle, this discovery lends evidence to early hypotheses that rachis-dominated feathers may have had a functional significance. This discovery adds to the diversity of ecological niches occupied by enantiornithines and if correct reveals are remarkable amount of locomotive differentiation among Enantiornithes.
Hollander, Franck A; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas
In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius collurio) that recently expanded its breeding habitat into open areas in plantation forests. This passerine bird shows a strong preference for forest habitat, but it has a higher nest success in farmland. We tested whether higher abundance of nest predators in the preferred habitat or, alternatively, a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation explained this observed pattern of maladaptive habitat selection. More than 90% of brood failures were attributed to nest predation. Nest predator abundance was more than 50% higher in farmland, but nest predation was 17% higher in forest. Differences between nest predation on actual shrike nests and on artificial nests suggested that parent shrikes may facilitate nest disclosure for predators in forest more than they do in farmland. The level of caution by parent shrikes when visiting their nest during a simulated nest predator intrusion was the same in the two habitats, but nest concealment was considerably lower in forest, which contributes to explaining the higher nest predation in this habitat. We conclude that a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation may create ecological traps in human-modified environments.
Franck A Hollander
Full Text Available In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius collurio that recently expanded its breeding habitat into open areas in plantation forests. This passerine bird shows a strong preference for forest habitat, but it has a higher nest success in farmland. We tested whether higher abundance of nest predators in the preferred habitat or, alternatively, a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation explained this observed pattern of maladaptive habitat selection. More than 90% of brood failures were attributed to nest predation. Nest predator abundance was more than 50% higher in farmland, but nest predation was 17% higher in forest. Differences between nest predation on actual shrike nests and on artificial nests suggested that parent shrikes may facilitate nest disclosure for predators in forest more than they do in farmland. The level of caution by parent shrikes when visiting their nest during a simulated nest predator intrusion was the same in the two habitats, but nest concealment was considerably lower in forest, which contributes to explaining the higher nest predation in this habitat. We conclude that a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation may create ecological traps in human-modified environments.
Full Text Available Anthropogenic disturbances to habitats influence the fitness of individual animals, the abundance of their populations, and the composition of their communities. Wetlands in particular are frequently degraded and destroyed, impacting the animals that inhabit these important ecosystems. The creation of wetlands during and following sand extraction processes is inevitable, and thus, sand quarries have the potential to support aquatic animals. To determine how amphibians utilise these wetlands, I conducted nocturnal call surveys at wetlands within the Kables Sands quarry, New South Wales, Australia, and within surrounding reference wetlands, and quantified levels of developmental instability (DI as a proxy for fitness. Whilst quarry and reference wetlands were largely similar in terms of environmental characteristics, quarry wetlands consistently harboured more amphibian species and individuals. Using unsigned asymmetry as a measure of DI, frogs from the quarry sites exhibited significantly lower levels of DI compared to reference wetlands, indicating that quarry wetlands may be comparatively higher quality. Levels of DI within quarry wetlands also compared favourably to data from healthy frog populations extracted from the literature. Further enhancing the suitability of quarry wetlands would require minimal effort, with potentially significant increases in local and regional biodiversity. Documenting species presence and quantifying individual fitness by measuring limb lengths is an economically and logistically feasible method to assess the health of quarry wetlands. Overall, the methods outlined here provide a powerful, yet simple, tool to assess the overall health and suitability of quarry wetlands that could be easily adopted at quarries throughout the world.
Vogiatzakis, I.N.; Stirpe, M.T.; Rickebusch, S.; Metzger, M.J.; Xu, G.; Rounsevell, M.D.A.; Bommarco, R.; Potts, S.G.
Changes in landscape composition and structure may impact the conservation and management of protected areas. Species that depend on specific habitats are at risk of extinction when these habitats are degraded or lost. Designing robust methods to evaluate landscape composition will assist decision-
Pabian, Sarah E; Brittingham, Margaret C
Studies in Europe have reported negative effects of acid deposition on forest birds, and research in North America has identified links between forest bird abundance and rates of acid deposition. We examined the bird community in an acidified forest in central Pennsylvania (USA) and evaluated the effects of terrestrial lime application on birds. We used a before-after control-impact (BACI) study design, with one year of observation before (2003) and three years after lime application (2004, 2005, and 2006). Between the 2003 and 2004 field seasons, 4500 kg/ha of dolomitic lime were applied to two of four 100-ha watersheds. Each year, we monitored bird abundance and Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) eggshell thickness and territory size. Soil and snail abundance data were also collected. The bird community and territory size results indicated that the study area may be providing low-quality habitat for forest birds, perhaps as a result of acid deposition. We found lower forest bird abundances than have been found in less acidified areas of Pennsylvania, and larger Ovenbird territory sizes than have been found in other studies. We found a significant positive relationship between soil calcium and bird abundance, indicating that soil calcium may affect bird abundance. Liming increased soil calcium and pH and led to increased snail and bird abundances. After liming, bird abundance was positively related to snail abundance. No significant changes occurred in Ovenbird territory size or eggshell thickness. Our results suggest that acid deposition could be responsible for reduced bird abundance, and that liming is a potential mitigation technique.
Measuring Phenological Changes due to Defoliation of the Non-Native Species, Saltcedar (Tamarisk) Following Episodic Foliage Removal by the Beetle Diorhabda elongate and Phenological Impacts on Forage Quality for Insectivorous Birds on the Dolores River
Nagler, P. L.; Dennison, P. E.; Hultine, K. R.; van Riper, C.; Glenn, E. P.
Since its introduction to the western U.S. more than a century ago, tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) has become dominant or sub-dominant over many major arid, and semi-arid river systems and their tributaries. The presence of tamarisk has been cited for reducing water availability for human enterprise and biodiversity, displacing native vegetation and for reducing habitat quality for wildlife. With increasing emphasis by public and private sectors on controlling saltcedar (Tamarix chinensis) in the western US, there will likely be a dramatic change in riparian vegetation composition over the course of the next several decades. The rates at which these changes will occur, and the resultant effects on riparian insects and birds that utilize insects for food, are presently unknown. Effects on riparian vegetation communities, resulting from changes in host plant species composition, will likely include changes in plant biomass, microclimate changes, and plant species diversity. These changes could potentially have a profound impact on migratory and breeding birds within riparian corridors throughout the southwest. Recently, the saltcedar leaf beetle (Diorhabda elongata) was released as a tamarisk biocontrol agent. This beetle has successfully defoliated tamarisk where it has been introduced, but there are currently no comprehensive programs in place for monitoring the rapid spread of Diorhabda, the impact of defoliation on habitat and water resources, or the long-term impact of defoliation on tamarisk. We used higher spatial resolution ASTER data and coarser MODIS data for monitoring defoliation caused by Diorhabda elongata and subsequent changes in evapotranspiration (ET). Widespread tamarisk defoliation was observed in an eastern Utah study area during summers 2007, 2008. We measured stem sap flux, leaf carbon isotope ratios, leaf area, LAI, and vegetation indices from mounted visible and infrared cameras and satellite imagery. The cameras were paired on towers installed 30
Full Text Available Two species of cockroaches were collected from aquatic habitats of undisturbed natural forest streams in Nepal and India (Maharashtra: Rhicnoda natatrix and Rhicnoda rugosa. Nymphs and adults are depicted and field observations of microhabitat and behavior described. Taxa lists of accompanying macroinvertebrate fauna are given, and water quality class is calculated using three biotic scoring systems. R. natatrix is a true aquatic species with amphibious lifestyle in the eulittoral of springs (Crenon and streams (Rhithron of excellent and good water quality classes I and II. R. rugosa is a predominantly terrestrial species that also colonizes the banks of water bodies and appears in between aquatic fauna. These species cannot be classified using the traditional habitat system.
Tarby, Sara; Cermak, Daniel
Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016.......Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016....
Smith, Erik A.; Kiesling, Richard L.; Ziegeweid, Jeffrey R.; Elliott, Sarah M.; Magdalene, Suzanne
Lake St. Croix is a naturally impounded, riverine lake that makes up the last 40 kilometers of the St. Croix River. Substantial land-use changes during the past 150 years, including increased agriculture and urban development, have reduced Lake St. Croix water-quality and increased nutrient loads delivered to Lake St. Croix. A recent (2012–13) total maximum daily load phosphorus-reduction plan set the goal to reduce total phosphorus loads to Lake St. Croix by 20 percent by 2020 and reduce Lake St. Croix algal bloom frequencies. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Park Service, developed a two-dimensional, carbon-based, laterally averaged, hydrodynamic and water-quality model, CE–QUAL–W2, that addresses the interaction between nutrient cycling, primary production, and trophic dynamics to predict responses in the distribution of water temperature, oxygen, and chlorophyll a. Distribution is evaluated in the context of habitat for lake sturgeon, including a combination of temperature and dissolved oxygen conditions termed oxy-thermal habitat.The Lake St. Croix CE–QUAL–W2 model successfully reproduced temperature and dissolved oxygen in the lake longitudinally (from upstream to downstream), vertically, and temporally over the seasons. The simulated water temperature profiles closely matched the measured water temperature profiles throughout the year, including the prediction of thermocline transition depths (often within 1 meter), the absolute temperature of the thermocline transitions (often within 1.0 degree Celsius), and profiles without a strong thermocline transition. Simulated dissolved oxygen profiles matched the trajectories of the measured dissolved oxygen concentrations at multiple depths over time, and the simulated concentrations matched the depth and slope of the measured concentrations.Additionally, trends in the measured water-quality data were captured by the model simulation, gaining some potential insights into the
Luciane R. da Silva Mohr
Full Text Available ABSTRACT The Saffron-cowled Blackbird, Xanthopsar flavus (Gmelin, 1788, is a globally vulnerable icterid endemic to grasslands and open areas, and a priority species for research and conservation programs. This contribution provides information on the population size, habitat, behavior, breeding biology and nest success of X. flavus in two conservation units (CUs in Viamão, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil: the Environmental Protection Area Banhado Grande, and the Wildlife Refuge Banhado dos Pachecos, classified as an “Important Bird Area”. Searches for X. flavus were carried out mainly in open areas, the type of habitat favored by the species. Outside the breeding season individual behavior was recorded by the ad libitum method; during the breeding season, selected X. flavus pairs were observed following the sequence sampling method. The research areas were visited once a month, totaling approximately 530 hours of observations (September 2014 to June 2016 over 84 days, which included two breeding seasons. The species was observed across all months (not necessarily within the same year and several X. flavus flocks were encountered, some with more than one hundred individuals (range = 2-137. Additionally, the behavior and feeding aspects, habitat use and breeding information on X. flavus were recorded. Two breeding colonies were found, and eleven nests were monitored. The estimated nesting success was 10% in Colony 1, but zero in Colony 2, where all eggs and nestlings were predated. Saffron-cowled Blackbirds were recorded in mixed flocks, mostly with Pseudoleistes guirahuro (Vieillot, 1819, P. virescens (Vieillot, 1819 and Xolmis dominicanus (Vieillot, 1823, the last also a globally endangered species. The collected information highlights the importance of CUs for the maintenance of X. flavus populations in the region. Maintenance of proper areas for feeding and breeding is necessary and urgent. Information from current research is being
Davari, B.; Vatandoost, H.
Using of insecticides depends on the knowledge of the susceptibility levels of malaria vectors to these chemical. In this study, the chemical quality of water in the larval breeding habitats and the susceptibility levels of Anopheles stephensi to DDT 4% dieldrin 0.4% permethrin 0.75, cyfluthrin 0.15 deltamethrin 0.05% and lambdacyhalothrin 0.05% were investigated according to WHO method in south eastern of Iran. (Author)
MENG Wei; ZHANG Nan; ZHANG Yuan; ZHENG Binghui
The health conditions of Liao River were assessed using 25 sampling sites in April 2005, with water quality index, biotic index and physical habitat quality index.Based on the method of cluster analysis (CA) for water quality indices, it reveals that heavily polluted sites of Liao River are located at estuary and mainstream.The aquatic species surveyed were attached algae and benthic invertebrates.The result shows that the diversity and biomass of attached algae and benthic index of biotic integrity (B-IBI) are degrading as the chemical and physical quality of water bodies deteriorating.Physiochemical parameters, BOD5, CODCr, TN, TP, NH3-N, DO, petroleum hydrocarbon and conductivity, were statistically analyzed with principal component analysis and correlation analysis.The statistical results were incorporated into the integrated assessing water quality index, combining fecal coliform count, attached algae diversity, B-IBI and physical habitat quality score, a comprehensive integrated assessing system of river ecological health was established.Based on the systimetic assesment, the assessed sites are categorized into 9 "healthy" and "sub-healthy" sites and 8 "sub-sick" and "sick" sites.
Smith, Erik A.; Kiesling, Richard L.; Ziegeweid, Jeffrey R.
Fish habitat can degrade in many lakes due to summer blue-green algal blooms. Predictive models are needed to better manage and mitigate loss of fish habitat due to these changes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, developed predictive water-quality models for two agricultural land-use dominated lakes in Minnesota—Madison Lake and Pearl Lake, which are part of Minnesota’s sentinel lakes monitoring program—to assess algal community dynamics, water quality, and fish habitat suitability of these two lakes under recent (2014) meteorological conditions. The interaction of basin processes to these two lakes, through the delivery of nutrient loads, were simulated using CE-QUAL-W2, a carbon-based, laterally averaged, two-dimensional water-quality model that predicts distribution of temperature and oxygen from interactions between nutrient cycling, primary production, and trophic dynamics.The CE-QUAL-W2 models successfully predicted water temperature and dissolved oxygen on the basis of the two metrics of mean absolute error and root mean square error. For Madison Lake, the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 0.53 and 0.68 degree Celsius, respectively, for the vertical temperature profile comparisons; for Pearl Lake, the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 0.71 and 0.95 degree Celsius, respectively, for the vertical temperature profile comparisons. Temperature and dissolved oxygen were key metrics for calibration targets. These calibrated lake models also simulated algal community dynamics and water quality. The model simulations presented potential explanations for persistently large total phosphorus concentrations in Madison Lake, key differences in nutrient concentrations between these lakes, and summer blue-green algal bloom persistence.Fish habitat suitability simulations for cool-water and warm-water fish indicated that, in general, both lakes contained a large
Milbrandt, Eric C.; Bartleson, Richard D.; Coen, Loren D.; Rybak, Olexandr; Thompson, Mark A.; DeAngelo, Jacquelyn A.; Stevens, Philip W.
Blind Pass is an inlet that separates Sanibel and Captiva Islands in southwest Florida but has historically closed and opened by both anthropogenic and natural processes. In July 2010, a dredging project to open the small inlet between the two barrier islands was completed. The objective of this study was to use and supplement ongoing estuary-monitoring programs to examine the responses of water quality, seagrass habitat metrics, and fish assemblages both in the immediate vicinity of the inlet and at broader scales (up to 40 km2). As far as we are aware, there are no previous studies with this intensity of sampling, both before and after an inlet opening. Significant increases in salinity and turbidity were observed inside Blind Pass, with significant decreases in CDOM and chlorophyll a, however, the effects were not far-reaching and limited to less than 1.7 km from the inlet within Pine Island Sound. Seagrass habitat metrics were expected to respond rapidly after the inlet was opened given the reduced light attenuation. However, there were no changes in shoot densities, species composition, and epiphytic algae within the approximately one-year duration of the study. The reopening of the pass did not substantially change fish assemblage structure, except for those from deeper habitats. Although immediate increases in the abundances of estuarine-dependent species were predicted in shallow habitats post opening, this did not occur. In conclusion, the effects of reopening a relatively small ocean inlet on water quality were apparent in the immediate vicinity of the inlet (within 1.7 km), but far-reaching effects on water quality, seagrass metrics, and fish assemblages were not immediately apparent in this well-flushed estuary. If subtle changes in tidal exchange and circulation affect productivity of seagrasses or its fish assemblages at broad scales, it may take several years to reach a steady state.
Jedlikowski, Jan; Chibowski, Piotr; Karasek, Tomasz; Brambilla, Mattia
Habitat selection often involves choices made at different spatial scales, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood, and studies that investigate the relative importance of individual scales are rare. We investigated the effect of three spatial scales (landscape, territory, nest-site) on the occurrence pattern of little crake Zapornia parva and water rail Rallus aquaticus at 74 ponds in the Masurian Lakeland, Poland. Habitat structure, food abundance and water chemical parameters were measured at nests and random points within landscape plots (from 300-m to 50-m radius), territory (14-m) and nest-site plots (3-m). Regression analyses suggested that the most relevant scale was territory level, followed by landscape, and finally by nest-site for both species. Variation partitioning confirmed this pattern for water rail, but also highlighted the importance of nest-site (the level explaining the highest share of unique variation) for little crake. The most important variables determining the occurrence of both species were water body fragmentation (landscape), vegetation density (territory) and water depth (at territory level for little crake, and at nest-site level for water rail). Finally, for both species multi-scale models including factors from different levels were more parsimonious than single-scale ones, i.e. habitat selection was likely a multi-scale process. The importance of particular spatial scales seemed more related to life-history traits than to the extent of the scales considered. In the case of our study species, the territory level was highly important likely because both rallids have to obtain all the resources they need (nest site, food and mates) in relatively small areas, the multi-purpose territories they defend.
Riebel, Katharina; Holveck, Marie-Jeanne; Verhulst, Simon; Fawcett, Tim W.
Sexual selection theory posits that females should choose mates in a way that maximizes their reproductive success. But what exactly is the optimal choice? Most empirical research is based on the assumption that females seek a male of the highest possible quality (in terms of the genes or resources
Applied behavior analysts have been helping people to enhance the quality of their lives for decades. Its characteristics as described by Baer, Wolf, and Risley continue to guide efforts to help clients and their significant others. Yet, this knowledge often languishes unused and unappreciated. Distortions and misrepresentations of applied…
Full Text Available We inventoried terrestrial small mammals in an agricultural area in southern Brazil by using trapping and prey consumed by Barn Owls (Tyto alba and White-tailed Kites (Elanus leucurus. Small mammals were trapped in three habitat types: corn fields, uncultivated fields ("capoeiras", and native forest fragments. A total of 1,975 small mammal specimens were trapped, another 2,062 identified from the diet of Barn Owls, and 2,066 from the diet of White-tailed Kites. Both trapping and prey in the predators' diet yielded 18 small mammal species: three marsupials (Didelphis albiventris, Gracilinanus agilis, and Monodelphis dimidiata and 15 rodents (Akodon paranaensis, Bruceppatersonius iheringi, Calomys sp., Cavia aperea, Euryzygomatomys spinosus, Holochilus brasiliensis, Mus musculus, Necromys lasiurus, Nectomys squamipes, Oligoryzomys nigripes, Oryzomys angouya, Oxymycterus sp.1, Oxymycterus sp.2, Rattus norvegicus, and Rattus rattus (Linnaeus, 1758. The greatest richness was found in the uncultivated habitat. We concluded that the three methods studied for inventorying small mammals (prey in the diet of Barn Owls, White-tailed Kites, and trapping were complementary, since together, rather than separately, they produced a better picture of local richness.
Weiskel, Peter K.; Brandt, Sara L.; DeSimone, Leslie A.; Ostiguy, Lance J.; Archfield, Stacey A.
Massachusetts streams and stream basins have been subjected to a wide variety of human alterations since colonial times. These alterations include water withdrawals, treated wastewater discharges, construction of onsite septic systems and dams, forest clearing, and urbanization—all of which have the potential to affect streamflow regimes, water quality, and habitat integrity for fish and other aquatic biota. Indicators were developed to characterize these types of potential alteration for subbasins and groundwater contributing areas in Massachusetts. The potential alteration of streamflow by the combined effects of withdrawals and discharges was assessed under two water-use scenarios. Water-use scenario 1 incorporated publicly reported groundwater withdrawals and discharges, direct withdrawals from and discharges to streams, and estimated domestic-well withdrawals and septic-system discharges. Surface-water-reservoir withdrawals were excluded from this scenario. Water-use scenario 2 incorporated all the types of withdrawal and discharge included in scenario 1 as well as withdrawals from surface-water reservoirs—all on a long-term, mean annual basis. All withdrawal and discharge data were previously reported to the State for the 2000–2004 period, except domestic-well withdrawals and septic-system discharges, which were estimated for this study. The majority of the state’s subbasins and groundwater contributing areas were estimated to have relatively minor (less than 10 percent) alteration of streamflow under water-use scenario 1 (seasonally varying water use; no surface-water-reservoir withdrawals). However, about 12 percent of subbasins and groundwater contributing areas were estimated to have extensive alteration of streamflows (greater than 40 percent) in August; most of these basins were concentrated in the outer metropolitan Boston region. Potential surcharging of streamflow in August was most commonly indicated for main-stem river subbasins, although
Coates, Peter S; Casazza, Michael L; Ricca, Mark A; Brussee, Brianne E; Blomberg, Erik J; Gustafson, K Benjamin; Overton, Cory T; Davis, Dawn M; Niell, Lara E; Espinosa, Shawn P; Gardner, Scott C; Delehanty, David J
Predictive species distributional models are a cornerstone of wildlife conservation planning. Constructing such models requires robust underpinning science that integrates formerly disparate data types to achieve effective species management.Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus , hereafter 'sage-grouse' populations are declining throughout sagebrush-steppe ecosystems in North America, particularly within the Great Basin, which heightens the need for novel management tools that maximize the use of available information.Herein, we improve upon existing species distribution models by combining information about sage-grouse habitat quality, distribution and abundance from multiple data sources. To measure habitat, we created spatially explicit maps depicting habitat selection indices (HSI) informed by >35 500 independent telemetry locations from >1600 sage-grouse collected over 15 years across much of the Great Basin. These indices were derived from models that accounted for selection at different spatial scales and seasons. A region-wide HSI was calculated using the HSI surfaces modelled for 12 independent subregions and then demarcated into distinct habitat quality classes.We also employed a novel index to describe landscape patterns of sage-grouse abundance and space use (AUI). The AUI is a probabilistic composite of the following: (i) breeding density patterns based on the spatial configuration of breeding leks and associated trends in male attendance; and (ii) year-round patterns of space use indexed by the decreasing probability of use with increasing distance to leks. The continuous AUI surface was then reclassified into two classes representing high and low/no use and abundance. Synthesis and application s. Using the example of sage-grouse, we demonstrate how the joint application of indices of habitat selection, abundance and space use derived from multiple data sources yields a composite map that can guide effective allocation of management
Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Ricca, Mark A.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Blomberg, Erik J.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Overton, Cory T.; Davis, Dawn M.; Niell, Lara E.; Espinosa, Shawn P.; Gardner, Scott C.; Delehanty, David J.
Predictive species distributional models are a cornerstone of wildlife conservation planning. Constructing such models requires robust underpinning science that integrates formerly disparate data types to achieve effective species management. Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter “sage-grouse” populations are declining throughout sagebrush-steppe ecosystems in North America, particularly within the Great Basin, which heightens the need for novel management tools that maximize use of available information. Herein, we improve upon existing species distribution models by combining information about sage-grouse habitat quality, distribution, and abundance from multiple data sources. To measure habitat, we created spatially explicit maps depicting habitat selection indices (HSI) informed by > 35 500 independent telemetry locations from > 1600 sage-grouse collected over 15 years across much of the Great Basin. These indices were derived from models that accounted for selection at different spatial scales and seasons. A region-wide HSI was calculated using the HSI surfaces modelled for 12 independent subregions and then demarcated into distinct habitat quality classes. We also employed a novel index to describe landscape patterns of sage-grouse abundance and space use (AUI). The AUI is a probabilistic composite of: (i) breeding density patterns based on the spatial configuration of breeding leks and associated trends in male attendance; and (ii) year-round patterns of space use indexed by the decreasing probability of use with increasing distance to leks. The continuous AUI surface was then reclassified into two classes representing high and low/no use and abundance. Synthesis and applications. Using the example of sage-grouse, we demonstrate how the joint application of indices of habitat selection, abundance, and space use derived from multiple data sources yields a composite map that can guide effective allocation of management intensity across
Knutson, M.G.; Butcher, G.; Fitzgerald, J.; Shieldcastle, J.
oak savannah grasslands already have been converted to agriculture. The conversion to cropland may have benefitted some grassland birds, and forest birds still persist. Rates of cowbird parasitism and nest predation in this heavily fragmented region, however, are extremely high and it is possible that only those bird communities in the few remaining expanses of contiguous habitat are self-sustaining. Forest habitat needs to be retained or restored so that a significant number of patches of sufficient size and quality each support a healthy population of Cerulean Warblers. It is assumed that each of these patches will then support the full range of forest birds. The total area of savannah habitat also should be increased, although the need for large blocks is not as apparent. Those few areas of grassland that still exist should be retained.
LaManna, Joseph A.; Hemenway, Amy B.; Boccadori, Vanna; Martin, Thomas E.
Turnover in animal species along vegetation gradients is often assumed to reflect adaptive habitat preferences that are narrower than the full gradient. Specifically, animals may decline in abundance where their reproductive success is low, and these poor-quality locations differ among species. Yet habitat use does not always appear adaptive. The crucial tests of how abundances and demographic costs of animals vary along experimentally manipulated vegetation gradients are lacking. We examined habitat use and nest predation rates for 16 bird species that exhibited turnover with shifts in deciduous and coniferous vegetation. For most bird species, decreasing abundance was associated with increasing predation rates along both natural and experimentally modified vegetation gradients. This landscape-scale approach strongly supports the idea that vegetation-mediated effects of predation are associated with animal distributions and species turnover.
Rebecca L. Flitcroft; Jeffrey A. Falke; Gordon H. Reeves; Paul F. Hessburg; Kris M. McNyset; Lee E. Benda
Pacific Northwest salmonids are adapted to natural disturbance regimes that create dynamic habitat patterns over space and through time. However, human land use, particularly long-term fire suppression, has altered the intensity and frequency of wildfire in forested upland and riparian areas. To examine the potential impacts of wildfire on aquatic systems, we developed...
Derek K. Alkire; Andrew W. Ezell; Andrew B. Self
Bottomland hardwoods can provide both wildlife habitat and timber. However, past high-grading practices limit future income potential and have resulted in undesirable species composition in many areas. Thus, prevalence of desirable oak species should be increased. Our study will attempt to determine the proper harvest level for bottomland hardwoods which will optimize...
Craig M. Thompson; Kathryn Purcell; Rebecca Green; Richard. Sweitzer
Fishers (Pekania pennanti) occur in ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, and mixed hardwood conifer habitats in the southern Sierra Nevada at elevations from approximately 1400 to 2300 m. They are a candidate species for listing under both the Federal and California Endangered Species Acts. Since 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (...
Anders; Pape; M?ller; Johannes; Erritz?e
Background: Brain size may affect the probability of invasion of urban habitats if a relatively larger brain entails superior ability to adapt to novel environments. However, once urbanized urban environments may provide poor quality food that has negative consequences for normal brain development resulting in an excess of individuals with small brains.Methods: Here we analyze the independent effects of mean, standard deviation and skewness in brain mass for invasion of urban habitats by 108 species of birds using phylogenetic multiple regression analyses weighted by sample size.Results: There was no significant difference in mean brain mass between urbanized and non-urbanized species or between urban and rural populations of the same species, and mean brain mass was not significantly correlated with time since urbanization. Bird species that became urbanized had a greater standard deviation in brain mass than non-urbanized species, and the standard deviation in brain mass increased with time since urbanization. Brain mass was significantly left skewed in species that remained rural, while there was no significant skew in urbanized species. The degree of left skew was greater in urban than in rural populations of the same species, and successfully urbanized species decreased the degree of left skew with time since urbanization. This is consistent with the hypothesis that sub-optimal brain development was more common in rural habitats resulting in disproportionately many individuals with very smal brains.Conclusions: These findings do not support the hypothesis that large brains promote urbanization, but suggest that skewness has played a role in the initial invasion of urban habitats, and that variance and skew in brain mass have increased as species have become urbanized.
Anders Pape Mller; Johannes Erritze
Background:Brain size may affect the probability of invasion of urban habitats if a relatively larger brain entails superior ability to adapt to novel environments. However, once urbanized urban environments may provide poor quality food that has negative consequences for normal brain development resulting in an excess of individuals with small brains. Methods:Here we analyze the independent effects of mean, standard deviation and skewness in brain mass for invasion of urban habitats by 108 species of birds using phylogenetic multiple regression analyses weighted by sample size. Results:There was no significant difference in mean brain mass between urbanized and non-urbanized species or between urban and rural populations of the same species, and mean brain mass was not significantly correlated with time since urbanization. Bird species that became urbanized had a greater standard deviation in brain mass than non-urbanized species, and the standard deviation in brain mass increased with time since urbanization. Brain mass was significantly left skewed in species that remained rural, while there was no significant skew in urbanized species. The degree of left skew was greater in urban than in rural populations of the same species, and successfully urbanized species decreased the degree of left skew with time since urbanization. This is consistent with the hypothesis that sub-optimal brain development was more common in rural habitats resulting in disproportionately many individuals with very smal brains. Conclusions:These findings do not support the hypothesis that large brains promote urbanization, but suggest that skewness has played a role in the initial invasion of urban habitats, and that variance and skew in brain mass have increased as species have become urbanized.
Breeding bird communities were studied in 32 forest islands surrounded by urban development. These isolated woodlands in Springfield, Massachusetts, provided breeding habitats for a wider variety of birds (77 species) than previously described for other urban habitats (e.g. four times as many species as found in urban residential areas in the same city in a...
Battaglin, William A.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Anderson, Chauncey; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Chestnut, Tara E.; Muths, Erin L.
To investigate interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality, and adjacent land cover, we collected samples of water, sediment, and frog tissue from 21 sites in 7 States in the United States (US) representing a variety of amphibian habitats. All samples were analyzed for > 90 pesticides and pesticide degradates, and water and frogs were screened for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) using molecular methods. Pesticides and pesticide degradates were detected frequently in frog breeding habitats (water and sediment) as well as in frog tissue. Fungicides occurred more frequently in water, sediment, and tissue than was expected based upon their limited use relative to herbicides or insecticides. Pesticide occurrence in water or sediment was not a strong predictor of occurrence in tissue, but pesticide concentrations in tissue were correlated positively to agricultural and urban land, and negatively to forested land in 2-km buffers around the sites. Bd was detected in water at 45% of sites, and on 34% of swabbed frogs. Bd detections in water were not associated with differences in land use around sites, but sites with detections had colder water. Frogs that tested positive for Bd were associated with sites that had higher total fungicide concentrations in water and sediment, but lower insecticide concentrations in sediments relative to frogs that were Bd negative. Bd concentrations on frog swabs were positively correlated to dissolved organic carbon, and total nitrogen and phosphorus, and negatively correlated to pH and water temperature.Data were collected from a range of locations and amphibian habitats and represent some of the first field-collected information aimed at understanding the interactions between pesticides, land use, and amphibian disease. These interactions are of particular interest to conservation efforts as many amphibians live in altered habitats and may depend on wetlands embedded in these landscapes to
Battaglin, W A; Smalling, K L; Anderson, C; Calhoun, D; Chestnut, T; Muths, E
To investigate interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality, and adjacent land cover, we collected samples of water, sediment, and frog tissue from 21 sites in 7 States in the United States (US) representing a variety of amphibian habitats. All samples were analyzed for >90 pesticides and pesticide degradates, and water and frogs were screened for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) using molecular methods. Pesticides and pesticide degradates were detected frequently in frog breeding habitats (water and sediment) as well as in frog tissue. Fungicides occurred more frequently in water, sediment, and tissue than was expected based upon their limited use relative to herbicides or insecticides. Pesticide occurrence in water or sediment was not a strong predictor of occurrence in tissue, but pesticide concentrations in tissue were correlated positively to agricultural and urban land, and negatively to forested land in 2-km buffers around the sites. Bd was detected in water at 45% of sites, and on 34% of swabbed frogs. Bd detections in water were not associated with differences in land use around sites, but sites with detections had colder water. Frogs that tested positive for Bd were associated with sites that had higher total fungicide concentrations in water and sediment, but lower insecticide concentrations in sediments relative to frogs that were Bd negative. Bd concentrations on frog swabs were positively correlated to dissolved organic carbon, and total nitrogen and phosphorus, and negatively correlated to pH and water temperature. Data were collected from a range of locations and amphibian habitats and represent some of the first field-collected information aimed at understanding the interactions between pesticides, land use, and amphibian disease. These interactions are of particular interest to conservation efforts as many amphibians live in altered habitats and may depend on wetlands embedded in these landscapes to survive
Fritsch, Mark A.
The number of anadromous fish returning to the Columbia River and its tributaries has declined sharply in recent years. Changes in their freshwater, estuarine, and ocean environments and harvest have all contributed to declining runs of anadromous fish. Restoration of aquatic resources is of paramount importance to the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs (CTWS) Reservation of Oregon. Watersheds on the Warm Springs Reservation provide spawning and rearing habitat for several indigenous species of resident and anadromous fish. These streams are the only ones in the Deschutes River basin that still sustain runs of wild spring chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus, tshawytscha. Historically, reservation streams supplied over 169 km of anadromous fish habitat. Because of changes in flows, there are now only 128 km of habitat that can be used on the reservation. In 1981, the CTWS began a long-range, 3-phase study of existing and potential fish resources on the reservation. The project, consistent with the Northwest Power Planning Council`s Fish and Wildlife Program, was designed to increase the natural production of anadromous salmonids on the reservation.
The number of anadromous fish returning to the Columbia River and its tributaries has declined sharply in recent years. Changes in their freshwater, estuarine, and ocean environments and harvest have all contributed to declining runs of anadromous fish. Restoration of aquatic resources is of paramount importance to the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs (CTWS) Reservation of Oregon. Watersheds on the Warm Springs Reservation provide spawning and rearing habitat for several indigenous species of resident and anadromous fish. These streams are the only ones in the Deschutes River basin that still sustain runs of wild spring chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus, tshawytscha. Historically, reservation streams supplied over 169 km of anadromous fish habitat. Because of changes in flows, there are now only 128 km of habitat that can be used on the reservation. In 1981, the CTWS began a long-range, 3-phase study of existing and potential fish resources on the reservation. The project, consistent with the Northwest Power Planning Council's Fish and Wildlife Program, was designed to increase the natural production of anadromous salmonids on the reservation
Full Text Available The effects of land use, crop type and crop management on soil fauna were investigated with survey of four habitats in Jajarm. The habitats included rangelands, alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. fields and low-input and high-input of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. fields, each with four sample units. In each sample unit, the macrofauna collected with pitfall traps, sorted and counted in terms of family. The analysis of data conducted using of contrast analysis, analysis of similarities and principal component analysis (PCA. In rangelands the taxonomic richness, Simpson diversity index and abundance of macrofauna families tremendously were lower than agricultural habitats. These were attributed to low of plant diversity and pressure of livestock grazing. In alfalfa fields, increased abundance of beneficial macrofauna than wheat fields due to use not of chemical inputs, low disturbance and perennial of alfalfa. The crop management dad not has any significant impact on soil macrofauna. However, soil important macrofauna showed great tendency to occupancy in low-input wheat fields.
Fairchild, Dana M [Armour, SD
The bird guard provides a device to protect electrical insulators comprising a central shaft; a clamp attached to an end of the shaft to secure the device to a transmission tower; a top and bottom cover to shield transmission tower insulators; and bearings to allow the guard to rotate in order to frighten birds away from the insulators.
Jonathan Thompson; John Lehmkuhl
Although prescribed fire is increasingly being used in ponderosa pine forests as a management tool to reduce the risk of future high-severity wildfire, its effects on wildlife habitat have rarely been examined. The Birds and Burns Network was created to assist managers in planning prescribed fire projects that will reduce fuels and enhance bird habitat. Researchers...
Drum, Ryan G.; Ribic, Christine; Koch, Katie; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Grant, Edward C.; Ahlering, Marissa; Barnhill, Laurel; Dailey, Thomas; Lor, Socheata; Mueller, Connie; Pavlacky, D.C.; Rideout, Catherine; Sample, David W.
Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration) were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.
Ryan G Drum
Full Text Available Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.
D. M. Finch; K. E. Bagne; M. M. Friggens; D. M. Smith; K. M. Brodhead
We evaluated existing literature on predicted and known climate change effects on terrestrial rangeland birds. We asked the following questions: 1) How does climate change affect birds? 2) How will birds respond to climate change? 3) Are species already responding? 4) How will habitats be impacted?
Deanna K. Dawson; David R. Smith; Chandler S. Robbins
Comparisons of bird abundances among years or among habitats assume that the rates at which birds are detected and counted are constant within species. We use point count data collected in forests of the Mid-Atlantic states to estimate detection probabilities for Neotropical migrant bird species as a function of count length. For some species, significant differences...
Tremblay, Junior A; Boulanger, Yan; Cyr, Dominic; Taylor, Anthony R; Price, David T; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues
Many studies project future bird ranges by relying on correlative species distribution models. Such models do not usually represent important processes explicitly related to climate change and harvesting, which limits their potential for predicting and understanding the future of boreal bird assemblages at the landscape scale. In this study, we attempted to assess the cumulative and specific impacts of both harvesting and climate-induced changes on wildfires and stand-level processes (e.g., reproduction, growth) in the boreal forest of eastern Canada. The projected changes in these landscape- and stand-scale processes (referred to as "drivers of change") were then assessed for their impacts on future habitats and potential productivity of black-backed woodpecker (BBWO; Picoides arcticus), a focal species representative of deadwood and old-growth biodiversity in eastern Canada. Forest attributes were simulated using a forest landscape model, LANDIS-II, and were used to infer future landscape suitability to BBWO under three anthropogenic climate forcing scenarios (RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5), compared to the historical baseline. We found climate change is likely to be detrimental for BBWO, with up to 92% decline in potential productivity under the worst-case climate forcing scenario (RCP 8.5). However, large declines were also projected under baseline climate, underlining the importance of harvest in determining future BBWO productivity. Present-day harvesting practices were the single most important cause of declining areas of old-growth coniferous forest, and hence appeared as the single most important driver of future BBWO productivity, regardless of the climate scenario. Climate-induced increases in fire activity would further promote young, deciduous stands at the expense of old-growth coniferous stands. This suggests that the biodiversity associated with deadwood and old-growth boreal forests may be greatly altered by the cumulative impacts of natural and
Junior A Tremblay
Full Text Available Many studies project future bird ranges by relying on correlative species distribution models. Such models do not usually represent important processes explicitly related to climate change and harvesting, which limits their potential for predicting and understanding the future of boreal bird assemblages at the landscape scale. In this study, we attempted to assess the cumulative and specific impacts of both harvesting and climate-induced changes on wildfires and stand-level processes (e.g., reproduction, growth in the boreal forest of eastern Canada. The projected changes in these landscape- and stand-scale processes (referred to as "drivers of change" were then assessed for their impacts on future habitats and potential productivity of black-backed woodpecker (BBWO; Picoides arcticus, a focal species representative of deadwood and old-growth biodiversity in eastern Canada. Forest attributes were simulated using a forest landscape model, LANDIS-II, and were used to infer future landscape suitability to BBWO under three anthropogenic climate forcing scenarios (RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, compared to the historical baseline. We found climate change is likely to be detrimental for BBWO, with up to 92% decline in potential productivity under the worst-case climate forcing scenario (RCP 8.5. However, large declines were also projected under baseline climate, underlining the importance of harvest in determining future BBWO productivity. Present-day harvesting practices were the single most important cause of declining areas of old-growth coniferous forest, and hence appeared as the single most important driver of future BBWO productivity, regardless of the climate scenario. Climate-induced increases in fire activity would further promote young, deciduous stands at the expense of old-growth coniferous stands. This suggests that the biodiversity associated with deadwood and old-growth boreal forests may be greatly altered by the cumulative impacts of
Quinn, Nigel W.T.; Hanlon, Jeremy S.; Burns, Josephine R.; Stromayer, Karl A.K.; Jordan, Brandon M.; Ennis, Mike J.; Woolington,Dennis W.
The project report describes a two year experiment to control wetland drainage to the San Joaquin River of California from the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge using a decision support system for real-time water quality management. This system required the installation and operation of one inlet and three drainage flow and water quality monitoring stations which allowed a simple mass balance model to be developed of the seasonally managed wetlands in the study area. Remote sensing methods were developed to document long-term trends in wetland moist soil vegetation and soil salinity in response to management options such as delaying the initiation of seasonal wetland drainage. These environmental management tools provide wetland managers with some of the tools necessary to improve salinity conditions in the San Joaquin River and improve compliance with State mandated salinity objectives without inflicting long-term harm on the wild fowl habitat resource.
Ji Yoon Kim
Full Text Available This study evaluated integrative river ecosystem health using stressor-based models of physical habitat health, chemical water health, and biological health of fish and identified multiple-stressor indicators influencing the ecosystem health. Integrated health responses (IHRs, based on star-plot approach, were calculated from qualitative habitat evaluation index (QHEI, nutrient pollution index (NPI, and index of biological integrity (IBI in four different longitudinal regions (Groups I–IV. For the calculations of IHRs values, multi-metric QHEI, NPI, and IBI models were developed and their criteria for the diagnosis of the health were determined. The longitudinal patterns of the river were analyzed by a self-organizing map (SOM model and the key major stressors in the river were identified by principal component analysis (PCA. Our model scores of integrated health responses (IHRs suggested that mid-stream and downstream regions were impaired, and the key stressors were closely associated with nutrient enrichment (N and P and organic matter pollutions from domestic wastewater disposal plants and urban sewage. This modeling approach of IHRs may be used as an effective tool for evaluations of integrative ecological river health..
Jeffrey V. Wells; Daniel K. Niven; John Cecil
The Important Bird Area (IBA) program is an international effort to identify, conserve, and monitor a network of sites that provide essential habitat for bird populations. BirdLife International began the IBA program in Europe in 1985. Since that time, BirdLife partners in more than 100 countries have joined together to build the global IBA network. Audubon (BirdLife...
Diehl, Robert Howard
The challenge for migratory bird conservation is habitat preservation that sustains breeding, migration, and non-breeding biological processes. In choosing an appropriately scaled conservation arena for habitat preservation, a conservative and thorough examination of stopover habitat use patterns by migrants works back from the larger scales at which such relationships may occur. Because the use of stopover habitats by migrating birds occurs at spatial scales larger than traditional field techniques can easily accommodate, I quantify these relationship using the United States system of weather surveillance radars (popularly known as NEXRAD). To provide perspective on use of this system for biologists, I first describe the technical challenges as well as some of the biological potential of these radars for ornithological research. Using data from these radars, I then examined the influence of Lake Michigan and the distribution of woodland habitat on migrant concentrations in northeastern Illinois habitats during stopover. Lake Michigan exerted less influence on migrant abundance and density than the distribution and availability of habitat for stopover. There was evidence of post-migratory movement resulting in habitats within suburban landscapes experiencing higher migrant abundance but lower migrant density than habitats within nearby urban and agricultural landscapes. Finally, in the context of hierarchy theory, I examined the influence of landscape ecological and behavioral processes on bird density during migratory stopover. Migrant abundance did not vary across landscapes that differed considerably in the amount of habitat available for stopover. As a result, smaller, more isolated patches held higher densities of birds. Spatial models of migrant habitat selection based on migrant proximity to a patch explained nearly as much variance in the number of migrants occupying patches (R2 = 0.88) as selection models based on migrant interception of patches during
Franklin, Janet; Steadman, David W.
Background We examined species composition of forest and bird communities in relation to environmental and human disturbance gradients on Lakeba (55.9 km2), Nayau (18.4 km2), and Aiwa Levu (1.2 km2), islands in the Lau Group of Fiji, West Polynesia. The unique avifauna of West Polynesia (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa) has been subjected to prehistoric human-caused extinctions but little was previously known about this topic in the Lau Group. We expected that the degree of human disturbance would be a strong determinant of tree species composition and habitat quality for surviving landbirds, while island area would be unrelated to bird diversity. Methodology/Principal Findings All trees >5 cm diameter were measured and identified in 23 forest plots of 500 m2 each. We recognized four forest species assemblages differentiated by composition and structure: coastal forest, dominated by widely distributed species, and three forest types with differences related more to disturbance history (stages of secondary succession following clearing or selective logging) than to environmental gradients (elevation, slope, rockiness). Our point counts (73 locations in 1 or 2 seasons) recorded 18 of the 24 species of landbirds that exist on the three islands. The relative abundance and species richness of birds were greatest in the forested habitats least disturbed by people. These differences were due mostly to increased numbers of columbid frugivores and passerine insectivores in forests on Lakeba and Aiwa Levu. Considering only forested habitats, the relative abundance and species richness of birds were greater on the small but completely forested (and uninhabited) island of Aiwa Levu than on the much larger island of Lakeba. Conclusions/Significance Forest disturbance history is more important than island area in structuring both tree and landbird communities on remote Pacific islands. Even very small islands may be suitable for conservation reserves if they are protected from human
Lumpkin, Heather A; Pearson, Scott M
Land-use dynamics and climatic gradients have large effects on many terrestrial systems. Exurban development, one of the fastest growing forms of land use in the United States, may affect wildlife through habitat fragmentation and building presence may alter habitat quality. We studied the effects of residential development and temperature gradients on bird species occurrence at 140 study sites in the southern Appalachian Mountains (North Carolina, U.S.A.) that varied with respect to building density and elevation. We used occupancy models to determine 36 bird species' associations with building density, forest canopy cover, average daily mean temperature, and an interaction between building density and mean temperature. Responses varied with habitat requirement, breeding range, and migration distance. Building density and mean temperature were both included in the top occupancy models for 19 of 36 species and a building density by temperature interaction was included in models for 8 bird species. As exurban development expands in the southern Appalachians, interior forest species and Neotropical migrants are likely to decline, but shrubland or edge species are not likely to benefit. Overall, effects of building density were greater than those of forest canopy cover. Exurban development had a greater effect on birds at high elevations due to a greater abundance of sensitive forest-interior species and Neotropical migrants. A warming climate may exacerbate these negative effects. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.
Full Text Available Although genetic diversity is one of the key components of biodiversity, its drivers are still not fully understood. While it is known that genetic diversity is affected both by environmental parameters as well as habitat history, these factors are not often tested together. Therefore, we analyzed 14 microsatellite loci in Abax parallelepipedus, a flightless, forest dwelling ground beetle, from 88 plots in two study regions in Germany. We modeled the effects of historical and environmental variables on allelic richness, and found for one of the regions, the Schorfheide-Chorin, a significant effect of the depth of the litter layer, which is a main component of habitat quality, and of the sampling effort, which serves as an inverse proxy for local population size. For the other region, the Schwäbische Alb, none of the potential drivers showed a significant effect on allelic richness. We conclude that the genetic diversity in our study species is being driven by current local population sizes via environmental variables and not by historical processes in the studied regions. This is also supported by lack of genetic differentiation between local populations sampled from ancient and from recent woodlands. We suggest that the potential effects of former fragmentation and recolonization processes have been mitigated by the large and stable local populations of Abax parallelepipedus in combination with the proximity of the ancient and recent woodlands in the studied landscapes.
Roberts, James J.; Bruce, James F.; Zuellig, Robert E.
The analysis described in this report is part of a longterm project monitoring the biological communities, habitat, and water quality of the Fountain Creek Basin. Biology, habitat, and water-quality data have been collected at 10 sites since 2003. These data include annual samples of aquatic invertebrate communities, fish communities, water quality, and quantitative riverine habitat. This report examines trends in biological communities from 2003 to 2016 and explores relationships between biological communities and abiotic variables (antecedent streamflow, physical habitat, and water quality). Six biological metrics (three invertebrate and three fish) and four individual fish species were used to examine trends in these data and how streamflow, habitat, and (or) water quality may explain these trends. The analysis of 79 trends shows that the majority of significant trends decreased over the trend period. Overall, 19 trends before adjustments for streamflow in the fish (12) and invertebrate (7) metrics were all decreasing except for the metric Invertebrate Species Richness at the most upstream site in Monument Creek. Seven of these trends were explained by streamflow and four trends were revealed that were originally masked by variability in antecedent streamflow. Only two sites (Jimmy Camp Creek at Fountain, CO and Fountain Creek near Pinon, CO) had no trends in the fish or invertebrate metrics. Ten of the streamflow-adjusted trends were explained by habitat, one was explained by water quality, and five were not explained by any of the variables that were tested. Overall, from 2003 to 2016, all the fish metric trends were decreasing with an average decline of 40 percent, and invertebrate metrics decreased on average by 9.5 percent. A potential peak streamflow threshold was identified above which there is severely limited production of age-0 flathead chub (Platygobio gracilis).
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for endangered waterbirds and passerine birds, migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, gulls and terns,...
California Department of Resources — This layer depicts areas designated for Steelhead Critical Habitat as well as habitat type and quality in the Coastal California Steelhead ESUs (evolutionarily...
Quinn, Nigel W.T.; Hanlon, Jeremy S.; Burns, Josephine R.; Stromayer, Karl A.K.; Jordan, Brandon M.; Ennis, Mike J.; Woolington, Dennis W.
The project report describes a two year experiment to control wetland drainage to the San Joaquin River of California from the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge using a decision support system for real-time water quality management. This system required the installation and operation of one inlet and three drainage flow and water quality monitoring stations which allowed a simnple mass balance model to be developed of the seasonally managed wetlands in the study area. Remote sensing meth...
Wong, Sarah N P; Saj, Tania L; Sicotte, Pascale
The forest fragments surrounding the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary (BFMS) in central Ghana shelter small populations of Colobus vellerosus. Little is known about these populations or the ability of the fragments to support them, despite the fact that these fragments represent potentially important habitat for the colobus in this region. We compared the diet of three groups of C. vellerosus in the fragments to two groups in BFMS. We also examined the differences in plant species composition and food abundance among fragments. The study took place from June to November 2003. Dietary data were collected using scan sampling. Plant species composition and food abundance were evaluated using tree plots and large tree surveys. As in BFMS groups, leaves constituted the highest proportion of the diet of fragment groups, yet the colobus in fragments fed on more lianas than did those in BFMS. Over 50% of all species observed eaten by colobus in the fragments were not consumed in BFMS groups during the same season. Food abundance was similar between fragments and BFMS, although species composition differed. There was no relationship between the density of colobus and the density of food trees or percentage of food species, suggesting that other factors may be influencing the number of colobus present. This study highlights the broad dietary range of C. vellerosus, which may be a factor allowing its survival in these fragments.
Kleijn, D.; Schekkerman, H.; Dimmers, W.J.; Kats, van R.J.M.; Melman, T.C.P.; Teunissen, W.A.
Agricultural intensification is one of the main drivers of farmland bird declines, but effects on birds may be confounded with those of climate change. Here we examine the effects of intensification and climate change on a grassland breeding wader, the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l. limosa, in the
Wen, Xin; Liu, Zhehua; Lei, Xiaohui; Lin, Rongjie; Fang, Guohua; Tan, Qiaofeng; Wang, Chao; Tian, Yu; Quan, Jin
The eco-hydrological system in southwestern China is undergoing great changes in recent decades owing to climate change and extensive cascading hydropower exploitation. With a growing recognition that multiple drivers often interact in complex and nonadditive ways, the purpose of this study is to predict the potential future changes in streamflow and fish habitat quality in the Yuan River and quantify the individual and cumulative effect of cascade damming and climate change. The bias corrected and spatial downscaled Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) General Circulation Model (GCM) projections are employed to drive the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrological model and to simulate and predict runoff responses under diverse scenarios. Physical habitat simulation model is established to quantify the relationship between river hydrology and fish habitat, and the relative change rate is used to assess the individual and combined effects of cascade damming and climate change. Mean annual temperature, precipitation and runoff in 2015-2100 show an increasing trend compared with that in 1951-2010, with a particularly pronounced difference between dry and wet years. The ecological habitat quality is improved under cascade hydropower development since that ecological requirement has been incorporated in the reservoir operation policy. As for middle reach, the runoff change from January to August is determined mainly by damming, and climate change influence becomes more pronounced in dry seasons from September to December. Cascade development has an effect on runoff of lower reach only in dry seasons due to the limited regulation capacity of reservoirs, and climate changes have an effect on runoff in wet seasons. Climate changes have a less significant effect on fish habitat quality in middle reach than damming, but a more significant effect in lower reach. In addition, the effect of climate changes on fish habitat quality in lower reach is high
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns in...
Sojda, R.; Ruth, J.M.; Barrow, W.C.; Dawson, D.K.; Diehl, R.H.; Manville, A.; Green, M.T.; Krueper, D.J.; Johnston, S.
Migratory birds face many changes to the landscapes they traverse and the habitats they use. Wind turbines and communications towers, which pose hazards to birds and bats in flight, are being erected across the United States and offshore. Human activities can also destroy or threaten habitats critical to birds during migratory passage, and climate change appears to be altering migratory patterns. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other agencies are under increasing pressure to identify and evaluate movement patterns and habitats used during migration and other times.
Christopher J. Norment
Full Text Available Declining grassland breeding bird populations have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality may be breeding success. Between 1994 and 2003 we gathered data on the nest fates of Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna, Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorous, and Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis in a series of fallow fields and pastures/hayfields in western New York State. We calculated daily survival probabilities using the Mayfield method, and used the logistic-exposure method to model effects of predictor variables on nest success. Nest survival probabilities were 0.464 for Eastern Meadowlarks (n = 26, 0.483 for Bobolinks (n = 91, and 0.585 for Savannah Sparrows (n = 152. Fledge dates for first clutches ranged between 14 June and 23 July. Only one obligate grassland bird nest was parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater, for an overall brood parasitism rate of 0.004. Logistic-exposure models indicated that daily nest survival probabilities were higher in pastures/hayfields than in fallow fields. Our results, and those from other studies in the Northeast, suggest that properly managed cool season grassland habitats in the region may not act as ecological traps, and that obligate grassland birds in the region may have greater nest survival probabilities, and lower rates of Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism, than in many parts of the Midwest.
... effect on bird species diversity. Bird species diversity increased with increase in tree height. A significant decline in bird species diversity with increased number of trees and canopy cover was noted. This result probably suggests an accumulation of forest edge species and generalist species in the less forested habitat.
Nicol, Sam; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Diffendorfer, James E.; Mattsson, Brady; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Laura Lopez-Hoffman,; Norris, Ryan
Mobile species with complex spatial dynamics can be difficult to manage because their population distributions vary across space and time, and because the consequences of managing particular habitats are uncertain when evaluated at the level of the entire population. Metrics to assess the importance of habitats and pathways connecting habitats in a network are necessary to guide a variety of management decisions. Given the many metrics developed for spatially structured models, it can be challenging to select the most appropriate one for a particular decision. To guide the management of spatially structured populations, we define three classes of metrics describing habitat and pathway quality based on their data requirements (graph-based, occupancy-based, and demographic-based metrics) and synopsize the ecological literature relating to these classes. Applying the first steps of a formal decision-making approach (problem framing, objectives, and management actions), we assess the utility of metrics for particular types of management decisions. Our framework can help managers with problem framing, choosing metrics of habitat and pathway quality, and to elucidate the data needs for a particular metric. Our goal is to help managers to narrow the range of suitable metrics for a management project, and aid in decision-making to make the best use of limited resources.
Kamler, Jiří; Homolka, Miloslav
Roč. 54, 1-2 (2005), s. 89-98 ISSN 0139-7893 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/99/D053; GA AV ČR(CZ) IBS6093003 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : free-living ungulates * faecal indicators * diet quality Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.585, year: 2005 http://www.ivb.cz/folia/54/1-2/89-98.pdf
Wolf, Isabelle D; Hagenloh, Gerald; Croft, David B
Bird communities inhabiting ecosystems adjacent to recreational tracks may be adversely affected by disturbance from passing tourism traffic, vehicle-related mortality, habitat alteration and modified biotic relationships such as the increase of strong competitors. This study investigated the effects of tourist usage of roads vs. hiking trails on bird communities in gorges of the Flinders Ranges, a popular South Australian tourist destination in the arid-lands. High tourist usage along roads decreased the individual abundance and species richness of birds relative to low usage trails. The decrease in species richness, though less pronounced, also occurred at high-usage sites along trails. Changes in the species response to recreational disturbance/impacts varied depending on the ecology of the species. Bigger, more competitive birds with a generalist diet were overrepresented at high-usage sites along roads and trails. Species using microhabitats in lower vegetation layers were more sensitive. However, structural and floristic complexity of vegetation was a more important factor influencing bird abundance than tourist usage. Sites with a better developed shrub and tree layer sustained higher species abundance and richer communities. Importantly, vegetation qualities moderated the negative effect of high usage on the individual abundance of birds along roads, to the extent that such an effect was absent at sites with the best developed shrub and tree layer. To protect avifauna along recreational tracks in arid-lands gorges, we recommend the closure of some gorges or sections for vehicle or any access. Further, open space particularly for camping needs to be minimized as it creates areas of high tourist usage with modified habitat that provides birds with little buffer from disturbance. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Scharf, Inon; Fischer-Blass, Birgit; Foitzik, Susanne
Natural communities are structured by intra-guild competition, predation or parasitism and the abiotic environment. We studied the relative importance of these factors in two host-social parasite ecosystems in three ant communities in Europe (Bavaria) and North America (New York, West Virginia). We tested how these factors affect colony demography, life-history and the spatial pattern of colonies, using a large sample size of more than 1000 colonies. The strength of competition was measured by the distance to the nearest competitor. Distance to the closest social parasite colony was used as a measure of parasitism risk. Nest sites (i.e., sticks or acorns) are limited in these forest ecosystems and we therefore included nest site quality as an abiotic factor in the analysis. In contrast to previous studies based on local densities, we focus here on the positioning and spatial patterns and we use models to compare our predictions to random expectations. Colony demography was universally affected by the size of the nest site with larger and more productive colonies residing in larger nest sites of higher quality. Distance to the nearest competitor negatively influenced host demography and brood production in the Bavarian community, pointing to an important role of competition, while social parasitism was less influential in this community. The New York community was characterized by the highest habitat variability, and productive colonies were clustered in sites of higher quality. Colonies were clumped on finer spatial scales, when we considered only the nearest neighbors, but more regularly distributed on coarser scales. The analysis of spatial positioning within plots often produced different results compared to those based on colony densities. For example, while host and slavemaker densities are often positively correlated, slavemakers do not nest closer to potential host colonies than expected by random. The three communities are differently affected by biotic and
Full Text Available Abstract Background Natural communities are structured by intra-guild competition, predation or parasitism and the abiotic environment. We studied the relative importance of these factors in two host-social parasite ecosystems in three ant communities in Europe (Bavaria and North America (New York, West Virginia. We tested how these factors affect colony demography, life-history and the spatial pattern of colonies, using a large sample size of more than 1000 colonies. The strength of competition was measured by the distance to the nearest competitor. Distance to the closest social parasite colony was used as a measure of parasitism risk. Nest sites (i.e., sticks or acorns are limited in these forest ecosystems and we therefore included nest site quality as an abiotic factor in the analysis. In contrast to previous studies based on local densities, we focus here on the positioning and spatial patterns and we use models to compare our predictions to random expectations. Results Colony demography was universally affected by the size of the nest site with larger and more productive colonies residing in larger nest sites of higher quality. Distance to the nearest competitor negatively influenced host demography and brood production in the Bavarian community, pointing to an important role of competition, while social parasitism was less influential in this community. The New York community was characterized by the highest habitat variability, and productive colonies were clustered in sites of higher quality. Colonies were clumped on finer spatial scales, when we considered only the nearest neighbors, but more regularly distributed on coarser scales. The analysis of spatial positioning within plots often produced different results compared to those based on colony densities. For example, while host and slavemaker densities are often positively correlated, slavemakers do not nest closer to potential host colonies than expected by random. Conclusions The
Full Text Available A survey of the macroinvertebrates of three brooks harbouring the white-clawed crayfish was conducted in Haute-Vienne department (France. Its aim was to increase our understanding of these ecosystems to help the conservation of A. pallipes. These brooks run through pastoral areas with well-developed riparian vegetation, which offers an important shade. Water temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration, pH, and conductivity fell within the ranges found for this species. A total of 34, 31, 29 taxa and 1 502, 1 364, 2 707 individuals of macrobenthos were collected in Holme, Besque and Bellecombe streams, respectively. Results showed good to very good water quality with IBGN scores ranging from 15 (Bellecombe to 17 (Holme and Besque, reflecting a limited impact of the anthropogenic disturbances. Taxa diversity were high for Holme and Besque with Shannon index around 3.2, translating a great heterogeneity of habitat and an equilibrated faunal community. Bellecombe showed a limited diversity with Shannon index of 1.42, resulting from the presence of numberous Chironomidae. This brook suffers probably weak organic pollution which could be related to the low water flow observed during the sampling. The similarity test according to Jaccard index showed high percentage of common taxa among ETP (Ephemeroptera-Trichoptera-Plecoptera between all sites. The high similarity of benthic macroinvertebrate communities could be an useful criteria to identify brooks for restocking purpose.
Reynolds-Hogland, M. J.; Mitchell, M.S.
We tested the hypothesis that gravel roads, not paved roads, had the largest negative effect on habitat quality for a population of American black bears (Ursus americanus) that lived in a protected area, where vehicle collision was a relatively minimal source of mortality. We also evaluated whether road use by bears differed by sex or age and whether annual variation in hard mast productivity affected the way bears used areas near roads. In addition, we tested previous findings regarding the spatial extent to which roads affected bear behavior negatively. Using summer and fall home ranges for 118 black bears living in the Pisgah Bear Sanctuary in western North Carolina during 1981-2001, we estimated both home-range-scale (2nd-order) and within-home-range-scale (3rd-order) selection for areas within 250, 500, 800, and 1,600 m of paved and gravel roads. All bears avoided areas near gravel roads more than they avoided areas near paved roads during summer and fall for 2nd-order selection and during summer for 3rd-order selection. During fall, only adult females avoided areas near gravel roads more than they avoided areas near paved roads for 3rd-order selection. We found a positive relationship between use of roads by adults and annual variability in hard mast productivity. Overall, bears avoided areas within 800 m of gravel roads. Future research should determine whether avoidance of gravel roads by bears affects bear survival. ?? 2007 American Society of Mammalogists.
California Natural Resource Agency — Agriculture crops in the Imperial Valley of California provide valuable habitat for many resident and migratory birds and are a very important component of the...
Blus, L.J.; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Kerwin, J.A.; Stendell, R.C.; Ohlendorf, H.M.; Stickel, L.F.
Pollution of estuaries affects bird populations indirectly through changes in habitat and food supply. The multi-factor pollution of Chesapeake Bay has resulted in diminution of submerged aquatic plants and consequent change in food habits of the canvasback duck. Although dredge-spoil operations can improve wildlife habitat, they often result in its demise. Pollution of estuaries also affects birds directly, through chemical toxication, which may result in outright mortality or in reproductive impairment. Lead from industrial sources and roadways enters the estuaries and is accumulated in tissues of birds. Lead pellets deposited in estuaries as a result of hunting are consumed by ducks with sufficient frequency .to result m large annual die-offs from lead poisoning. Fish in certain areas, usually near industrial sources, may contain levels of mercury high enough to be hazardous to birds that consume them. Other heavy metals are present in estuarine birds, but their significance is poorly known. Oil exerts lethal or sublethal effects on birds by oiling their feathers, oiling eggs and young by contaminated parents, and by ingestion of oil-contaminated food. Organochlorine chemicals, of both agricultural and industrial origin, travel through the food chains and reach harmful levels in susceptible species of birds in certain estuarine ecosystems. Both outright mortality and reproductive impairment have occurred.
The purpose of the investigations of birds is to establish a knowledge and data base that can make possible to enlighten the extent and character of potential influences the offshore wind farm might have on the birds. The potential influences the offshore wind farm might have on birds include: a) modification of the habitat, b) collision effects, and c) disturbances. (BA)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are present throughout the global environment and are produced naturally and by activities of humans. Effects of PAH on birds have been determined by studies employing egg injection, egg immersion, egg shell application, single and multiple oral doses, subcutaneous injection, and chemical analysis of field-collected eggs and tissue. The four-to six-ring aromatic compounds are the most toxic to embryos, young birds, and adult birds. For embryos, effects include death, developmental abnormalities, and a variety of cellular and biochemical responses. For adult and young birds, effects include reduced egg production and hatching, increased clutch or brood abandonment, reduced growth, increased organweights, and a variety of biochemical responses. Trophic level accumulation is unlikely. Environmental exposure to PAH in areas of high human population or habitats affected by recent petroleum spills might be sufficient to adversely affect reproduction. Evidence of long-term effects of elevated concentrations of environmental PAH on bird populations is very limited and the mechanisms of effect are unclear.
Etnoyer, P. J.; Hourigan, T. F.; Reser, B.; Monaco, M.
The growing fleet of telepresence-enabled research vessels equipped with deep-sea imaging technology provides a new opportunity to catalyze and coordinate research efforts among ships. This development is particularly useful for studying the distribution and diversity of deep-sea corals, which occur worldwide from 50 to 8600 m depth. Marine managers around the world seek to conserve these habitats, but require a clear consensus on what types of information are most important and most relevant for marine conservation. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seeks to develop a reproducible, non-invasive set of ROV methods designed to measure conservation value, or habitat quality, for deep-sea corals and sponges. New tools and methods will be proposed to inform ocean resource management, as well as facilitate research, outreach, and education. A new database schema will be presented, building upon the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) and efforts of submersible and ROV teams over the years. Visual information about corals and sponges has proven paramount, particularly high-quality images with standard attributes for marine geology and marine biology, including scientific names, colony size, health, abundance, and density. Improved habitat suitability models can be developed from these data if presence and absence are measured. Recent efforts to incorporate physical sampling into telepresence protocols further increase the value of such information. It is possible for systematic observations with small file sizes to be distributed as geo-referenced, time-stamped still images with environmental variables for water chemistry and a standardized habitat classification. The technique is common among researchers, but a distributed network for this information is still in its infancy. One goal of this presentation is to make progress towards a more integrated network of these measured observations of habitat quality to better facilitate
Full Text Available For the study of the macroecology and conservation of Taiwan’s birds, there was an urgent need to develop distribution models of bird species whose distribution had never before been modeled. Therefore, we here model the distributions of 27 mostly rare and cryptic breeding bird species using a statistical approach which has been shown to be especially reliable for modeling species with a low sample size of presence localities, namely the maximum entropy (Maxent modeling technique. For this purpose, we began with a dedicated attempt to collate as much high-quality distributional data as possible, assembling databases from several scientific reports, contacting individual data recorders and searching publicly accessible database, the internet and the available literature. This effort resulted in 2022 grid cells of 1 × 1 km size being associated with a presence record for one of the 27 species. These records and 10 pre-selected environmental variables were then used to model each species’ probability distribution which we show here with all grid cells below the lowest presence threshold being converted to zeros. We then in detail discuss the interpretation and applicability of these distributions, whereby we pay close attention to habitat requirements, the intactness and fragmentation of their habitat, the general detectability of the species and data reliability. This study is another one in an ongoing series of studies which highlight the usefulness of using large electronic databases and modern analytical methods to help with the monitoring and assessment of Taiwan’s bird species.
Peter J Blank
Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.
Faaborg, John; Holmes, Richard T; Anders, Angela D; Bildstein, Keith L; Dugger, Katie M; Gauthreaux, Sidney A; Heglund, Patricia; Hobson, Keith A; Jahn, Alex E; Johnson, Douglas H; Latta, Steven C; Levey, Douglas J; Marra, Peter P; Merkord, Christopher L; Nol, Erica; Rothstein, Stephen I; Sherry, Thomas W; Sillett, T Scott; Thompson, Frank R; Warnock, Nils
Migratory bird needs must be met during four phases of the year: breeding season, fall migration, wintering, and spring migration; thus, management may be needed during all four phases. The bulk of research and management has focused on the breeding season, although several issues remain unsettled, including the spatial extent of habitat influences on fitness and the importance of habitat on the breeding grounds used after breeding. Although detailed investigations have shed light on the ecology and population dynamics of a few avian species, knowledge is sketchy for most species. Replication of comprehensive studies is needed for multiple species across a range of areas, Information deficiencies are even greater during the wintering season, when birds require sites that provide security and food resources needed for survival and developing nutrient reserves for spring migration and, possibly, reproduction. Research is needed on many species simply to identify geographic distributions, wintering sites, habitat use, and basic ecology. Studies are complicated, however, by the mobility of birds and by sexual segregation during winter. Stable-isotope methodology has offered an opportunity to identify linkages between breeding and wintering sites, which facilitates understanding the complete annual cycle of birds. The twice-annual migrations are the poorest-understood events in a bird's life. Migration has always been a risky undertaking, with such anthropogenic features as tall buildings, towers, and wind generators adding to the risk. Species such as woodland specialists migrating through eastern North America have numerous options for pausing during migration to replenish nutrients, but some species depend on limited stopover locations. Research needs for migration include identifying pathways and timetables of migration, quality and distribution of habitats, threats posed by towers and other tall structures, and any bottlenecks for migration. Issues such as human
Bachelor thesis Future Planet Studies, major biologie ABSTRACT Animal species with a larger body-size tend to have larger home ranges than small-bodied animals. Therefore it is likely that they are more affected by habitat fragmentation than small-bodied species. Body size of birds also seems to have a negative relation with species richness. This research has therefore looked into whether birds with a larger body-size are more sensitive to habitat fragmentation caused by forest...
Kenneth V. Rosenberg; Jeffrey V. Wells
As part of the Partners in Flight (PIF) bird-conservation planning process, we assessed breeding land bird species according to seven categories of population vulnerability to derive a priority species pool in each of 12 physiographic areas that overlap the northeastern U.S. We then grouped species into the following habitat-species suites: (1) boreal-mountaintop...
Brumm, H.; Naguib, M.
Any signal must get from a sender to a receiver if information is to be transmitted. In the case of bird song, the acoustic properties of the habitat may hinder this being achieved. However, birds as senders and receivers have evolved numerous adaptations to overcome the problem of getting the
Tellería, J. L.
Full Text Available The Iberian dehesas are a man-made habitat composed of scattered oaks (Quercus spp. and extensive grass cover occupying three million ha in south-western Iberia. This paper compares the structure of the passerine bird communities in this region with other bird assemblages of Iberian woodlands. Although forest bird numbers in the southern half of the Iberian peninsula are decreasing, the dehesas show the highest richness in breeding birds, seemingly as the result of the increased presence of border and open-habitat birds. A low intra-habitat turnover of species was observed in the dehesas, with birds recorded at a sampling point accounting for a high percentage of the total richness of the community. This can be related to the low spatial patchiness of this habitat. In winter, the dehesas continued to maintain many bird species, but showed bird densities similar to other woodlands. This pattern, as well as the scarcity of some common forest passerines during the breeding period, could result from the removal of the shrub layer typical of Mediterranean woodlands.
Breaching events were associated with a change in feeding groups from waders to pursuit feeders, and a decrease in total bird numbers, most likely due to loss of potential littoral zone foraging habitat for waders resulting from reduced water levels. The highest bird numbers were recorded in winter reflecting the migration of ...
Jeffery D. Brawn; Bernice Tannenbaum; Keith E. Evans
Two study sites in central Missouri oak-hickory forests were searched for nest sites of cavity nesting birds. Researchers located and measured 133 nests of 11 species. Cavity nesting bird habitat selection is affected by both snag characteristics and vegetation structure.
J. Dudley; V. Saab
We developed a field protocol to monitor populations of cavity-nesting birds in burned and unburned coniferous forests of western North America. Standardized field methods are described for implementing long-term monitoring strategies and for conducting field research to evaluate the effects of habitat change on cavity-nesting birds. Key references (but not...
The behaviour of birds in response to time of day was affected by temperature, as there was no difference between GUDs in open and covered habitats in the mornings at lower temperatures, but lower GUDs were recorded in cover (at higher temperatures) in the afternoon when birds may — due to thermoregulatory costs ...
Wayne J. Arendt; John Faaborg; Miguel Canals; Jerry Bauer
This research note compiles 43 years of research and monitoring data to produce the first comprehensive checklist of the dry forest avian community found within the GuÃ¡nica Biosphere Reserve. We provide an overview of the reserve along with sighting locales, a list of 185 birds with their resident status and abundance, and a list of the available bird habitats....
Faanes, Craig A.
continuing expansion of the nearby Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan region has degraded or destroyed many woodlots, upland fields, and wetlands. In numerous instances, degradation of natural habitats has influenced the abundance and distribution of bird species. Because of these changes, both the Federal government and State Departments of Natural Resources have listed several species in various categories based on their current status. In the St. Croix River Valley, seven species are endangered, eight are threatened, and 29 are watch or priority status in either or both states. Data presented in this report are of value to land managers, land use specialists, and ornithologists, in assessing current and projected habitat alterations on the avifauna of this valley. The St. Croix River bisects a large region of western Wisconsin and east central Minnesota that exhibits a wide range of habitat types. This region supports not only birds, but many mammals, fishes, reptiles and amphibians, and several thousand species of vascular and nonvascular plants. The river itself is relatively clean through most of its course, and its natural flow is interrupted by only two small dams. Because the river lies within a 1-day drive of nearly 10 million people (Waters 1977), use of the area for recreational purposes is extremely heavy. Recreational pursuits include sunbathing, boating, and wild river kayaking in the summer, and ice fishing and cross-country skiing in the winter. The large number of unique and highly fragile habitats that exist there may never be compatible with the uses and abuses of the land that go with expanding human populations. Through the efforts of a number of citizens concerned with the quality of their environment and the foresightedness of several local, State, and Federal legislators, a portion of the upper St. Croix River Valley (hereafter termed 'the Valley') was established as a National Wild and Scenic River. Through establishment of t
... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds. 93.104 Section 93.104 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL... (INCLUDING POULTRY) AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND POULTRY, AND CERTAIN...
Schuler, C.A.; Rickard, W.H.; Sargeant, G.A.
This report provides information on te seasonal use of shrubsteppe vegetation by bird species at the RRL. Bird abundance and distribution were studied at the RRL to ensure that the DOE monitored migratory bird species pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to assess potential impacts of site characterization activities on bird populations. Birds were counted on two transects that together sampled an areas of 1.39 km/sup 2/. The relative abundance of birds, species richness, seasonal distribution, and the association of breeding shrubsteppe birds with major vegetation types were determined from Janurary through December 1987. Only 38 species were counted during 82 surveys. Total bird density during the nesting season (March-June) was 42.96 birdskm/sup 2/ and the density for the entire year was 26.74 birdskm/sup 2/. The characteristic nesting birds in shrubsteppe habitats were western meadowlark, sage sparrow, burrowing owl, mourning dove, horned lark, long-billed curlew, lark sparrow, and loggerhead shrike. Western meadowlark and sage sparrows were the most abundant breeding birds with an average density of 11.25 and 7.76 birdskm/sup 2/, respectively. Seasonal distribution of birds varied with species, but most species were present from March to September. Distribution and abunandance of nesting birds were correlated with habitat type. About 63% of the habitat surveyed was sagebrush, 26% was cheatgrass, and 11% was spiny hopsage. Sagebrush habitat supproted a greeater total bird density than cheatgrass or hopsage habitats. Sage sparrows were closely associated with sagebrush habitats, while western meadowlarks showed no strong habitat affinities. 22 refs., 9 figs., 6 tabs
Fendekova, M.; Fendek, M.; Macura, V.; Kralova, J.
Hydrological drought is being broadly studied within last decades in many countries. It is because of increasing frequency of drought periods occurrence also in mild climate conditions, leading to unexpected and undesired consequences for environment and various spheres of the state economy. Drought affects water availability for plants, animals and human society. Natural conditions of drought occurrence are often combined with human activities strengthening drought consequences. Lack of water in the nature, connected to meteorological and hydrological drought occurrence, increases at the same time needs for surface and groundwater in many types of human activities (agriculture, industrial production, electric power generation…). Drought can be identified within the low flow phase of the flow regime. Flow regime is considered for one of the most important conditions influencing quality of the river ecosystems. Occurrence of meteorological, surface and groundwater droughts was analyzed for the upper part of the Nitra River catchment in Slovakia. Drought occurrence was studied in two gauging profiles on the Nitra River - in Klacno and Nedozery, both representing the headwater profiles. The threshold level method was used for groundwater drought analysis. Base flow values were separated from the discharge hydrograms using the HydroOffice 2010 statistical program package. The influence of surface water drought on groundwater level was analyzed. Habitat suitability curves derived according to IFIM methodology were constructed for different fish species at Nedozery profile. The influence of different low flow values from 600 to 150 L/s on fish amount, size and species variability was studied. In the end, the minimum flow, bellow which unfavourable life conditions occur, was estimated. The results showed the necessity of taking into account the ecological parameters when estimating the ecological status of surface water bodies. Such an approach is fully compatible with
James G. Dickson; Frank R. Thompson; Richard N. Conner; Kathleen E. Franzreb
Avian communities that are associated with forest habitat attributes are affected by silvicultural and other stand influences. Some species have specific habitat requirements, whereas others occupy a broad range of vegetative conditions. In general, bird species richness and density are positively related to stand foliage volume and diversity. Bird density and...
James T. Anderson; Karen A. Riesz
Wildlife habitats connected with forested islands and their back channels (areas where commercial traffic is prohibited) on the Ohio River are valuable to diverse species. However, quantitative data on the importance of these areas to cavity-nesting birds are lacking. We compared cavity-nesting bird use and habitat between back and navigational channel sides of islands...
Viana, D.S.; Gangoso, L.; Bouten, W.; Figuerola, J.
Long-distance dispersal (LDD) promotes the colonization of isolated and remote habitats, and thus it has been proposed as a mechanism for explaining the distributions of many species. Birds are key LDD vectors for many sessile organisms such as plants, yet LDD beyond local and regional scales has
M. F. Burger; D. J. Adams; T. Post; L. Sommers; B. Swift
The New York State Bird Conservation Area (BCA) Program, modeled after the National Audubon Society?s Important Bird Areas Program, is based on legislation signed by Governor Pataki in 1997. New York is the first state in the nation to enact such a program. The BCA Program seeks to provide a comprehensive, ecosystem approach to conserving birds and their habitats on...
Vashti (Tice) Supplee; Jennie MacFarland
The Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is a worldwide program through BirdLife International that identifies sites considered to provide important habitats for avian species. Criteria for designation are species abundance, diversity, and range restriction. As the United States Partner of BirdLife International, the National Audubon Society administers the IBA Program...
Michael L. Morrison; Donald L. Dahlsten; Susan M. Tait; Robert C. Heald; Kathleen A. Milne; David L. Rowney
Seasonal differences in use of food and habitat have been shown for numerous bird species. Especially during winter, when insect food is often at its lowest availability, birds may be unable to secure enough food for survival. In earlier work in the mixed-conifer zone of the western Sierra Nevada (Blodgett Forest, El Dorado County), observers found that many birds...
Full Text Available Tourist disturbance in semi–arid springs was analysed; birds and fish were selected as bioindicators. Media Luna spring is the biggest and most spatially complex system in the region, with the highest biodiversity levels and tourist use. Areas with the highest bird species richness and abundances showed highest structural heterogeneity and least direct human impact. No differences in species richness of fish were observed between sectors and the most abundant species were found in the sectors least perturbed by human activity. Factors that explained the bird distribution were the species´ tolerance to the effects of direct tourism (noise and direct presence of people and habitat quality, mainly riparian vegetation. Aquatic vegetation condition was very important for fish. Six bird species and two fish species were relevant as indicators of the habitat quality related to human impact. Anthropic disturbance such as tree plantation favoured some bird species, whereas aquatic vegetation removal was favourable for some fish species, such as the endemic Cichlasoma bartoni, however, both types of disturbance were unfavourable for other species; riparian vegetation removal was negative for both groups. Controlled tourism promotes good conditions for C. bartoni establishment. Efficient conservation measures such as limiting touristic distribution are necessary for all species, especially for the fish community, in order to conserve biodiversity in general.
Robert, Alexandre; Paiva, Vitor H; Bolton, Mark; Jiguet, Frédéric; Bried, Joël
Environmental variability, costs of reproduction, and heterogeneity in individual quality are three important sources of the temporal and interindividual variations in vital rates of wild populations. Based on an 18-year monitoring of an endangered, recently described, long-lived seabird, Monteiro's Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma monteiroi), we designed multistate survival models to separate the effects of the reproductive cost (breeders vs. nonbreeders) and individual quality (successful vs. unsuccessful breeders) in relation to temporally variable demographic and oceanographic properties. The analysis revealed a gradient of individual quality from nonbreeders, to unsuccessful breeders, to successful breeders. The survival rates of unsuccessful breeders (0.90 +/- 0.023, mean +/- SE) tended to decrease in years of high average breeding success and were more sensitive to oceanographic variation than those of both (high-quality) successful breeders (0.97 +/- 0.015) and (low-quality) nonbreeders (0.83 +/- 0.028). Overall, our results indicate that reproductive costs act on individuals of intermediate quality and are mediated by environmental harshness.
Scope and profoundness of environmental assessments. A study in the frame of environmental impact assessments. Strategic environmental assessment and FFH (fauna-flora-habitat) impact assessment under specific consideration of the conflict wind energy - bird protection
The legal background of environmental impact assessments and the principle regulations and guidelines for this assessment are shortly summarized. The following Issues are discussed in detail: fundamentals of environmental assessments, profoundness and scope in environmental assessments; the conflict wind energy parks and birds.
William C. Hunter; David A. Buehler; Ronald A. Canterbury; John L. Confer; Paul B. Hamel
Populations of most bird species associated with grassland, shrub-scrub habitats, and disturbed areas in forested habitats (hereafter all referred to as disturbance-dependent species) have declined steeply. However, a widespread perception exists that disturbance-dependent species are merely returning to population levels likely found by the first European explorers...
Andreas Leidolf; Michael L. Wolfe; Rosemary L. Pendleton
Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii Nutt.) covers 3.75 million hectares (9.3 million acres) of the western United States. This report synthesizes current knowledge on the composition, structure, and habitat relationships of gambel oak avian communities. It lists life history attributes of 183 bird species documented from gambel oak habitats of the western...
Frank R. Moore; Mark S. Woodrey; Jeffrey J. Buler; Stefan Woltmann; Ted R. Simons
The development of comprehensive conservation strategies and management plans for migratory birds depends on understanding migrant-habitat relations throughout the annual cycle, including the time when migrants stopover en route. Yet, the complexity of migration makes the assessment of habitat requirements and development of a comprehensive...
Victoria A Bennett
Full Text Available It is essential to choose suitable habitat when reintroducing a species into its former range. Habitat quality may influence an individual's dispersal decisions and also ultimately where they choose to settle. We examined whether variation in habitat quality (quantified by the level of ground vegetation cover and the installation of nest boxes influenced the movement, habitat choice and survival of a reintroduced bird species. We experimentally reintroduced seven social groups (43 individuals of the brown treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus into two nature reserves in south-eastern Australia. We radio-tracked 18 brown treecreepers from release in November 2009 until February 2010. We observed extensive movements by individuals irrespective of the release environment or an individual's gender. This indicated that individuals were capable of dispersing and actively selecting optimum habitat. This may alleviate pressure on wildlife planners to accurately select the most optimum release sites, so long as the species' requirements are met. There was significant variation in movement between social groups, suggesting that social factors may be a more important influence on movement than habitat characteristics. We found a significant effect of ground vegetation cover on the likelihood of settlement by social groups, with high rates of settlement and survival in dry forests, rather than woodland (where the species typically resides, which has implications for the success of woodland restoration. However, overall the effects of variation in habitat quality were not as strong as we had expected, and resulted in some unpredicted effects such as low survival and settlement in woodland areas with medium levels of ground vegetation cover. The extensive movement by individuals and unforeseen effects of habitat characteristics make it difficult to predict the outcome of reintroductions, the movement behaviour and habitat selection of reintroduced individuals
Full Text Available The work is based mainly on personal field studies of the authors during different periods of time from the beginning of the 1980s until present. As a result, the Park's species list is extended to 208 bird species, 131 of them nesting in the mountain. We report 23 species for the first time for the Park's area. Analyses of proportion of species distribution among 13 habitat types revealed several patterns: 1 forest habitats held more species than expected; 2 number of species that nested in 1, 2 or 3 habitats was higher than expected; 3 proportion of species, that nested in 1, 2 or 3 habitats was higher in rock habitats, mountain pastures and running waters, and lower in broadleaf plantations.
Hadinoto; Suhesti, Eni
Bird is one component of the ecosystem which has an important role in supporting the occurrence of an organism's life cycle. Therefore, the presence of birds in an area is important, because it can affect the existence and distribution of plant species. The purpose of this study is to calculate the diversity of bird species and identify the source of bird feed in the compound. This study was conducted by field surveys in the residential complex. In addition to the birds as a research object vegetation as habitat / foraging birds were also observed. Data were analyzed by using the bird diversity index, richenes index, bundance index, dominance analysis, analysis of bird distribution and analysis of the level of meeting types, while vegetation will be analyzed based on the type and part of what is eaten by birds. In Pandau Jaya housing complex, found as many as 12 species of birds which consists of seven families. Bird species often present is Cucak Kutilang (Pycnonotus aurigaster) of 20 individuals, Bondol Peking (Lonchura punctulata) 14 individuals and Perkutut Jawa (Geopelia striata) 10 individuals. Bird species diversity (H ‘) in Pandau Jaya housing complex is still relatively moderate with a value of 2.27, while the Evenness Index (E) of 0.91 and Richenes Index (R) of 2.45. Types of vegetation as a food source, among others: mango, guava, cherry, jackfruit, ketapang, coconut, areca, palm, banana, papaya, flowers and grasses.
Alexandre Marco da Silva
Full Text Available Soil loss expectation and possible relationships among soil erosion, riparian vegetation and water quality were studied in the São José dos Dourados River basin, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Through Geographic Information System (GIS resources and technology, Soil Loss Expectation (SLE data obtained using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE model were analyzed. For the whole catchment area and for the 30 m buffer strips of the streams of 22 randomly selected catchments, the predominant land use and habitat quality were studied. Owing mainly to the high soil erodibility, the river basin is highly susceptible to erosive processes. Habitat quality analyses revealed that the superficial water from the catchments is not chemically impacted but suffers physical damage. A high chemical purity is observed since there are no urban areas along the catchments. The water is physically poor because of high rates of sediment delivery and the almost nonexistence of riparian vegetation.Expectativa de perda de solo e possíveis relações entre erosão, vegetação ripária e qualidade da água foram estudados na bacia do rio São José dos Dourados (SP. Através de recursos de geoprocessamento e da Equação Universal de Perda de Solos, os dados sobre expectativa de perda de solo foram levantados. Para a área de drenagem total e a faixa tampão dos corpos d'água de 22 sub-bacias aleatoriamente selecionadas, analisou-se a cobertura do solo predominante e qualidade do habitat. Devido principalmente à alta erodibilidade do solo, a área estudada é altamente suscetível ao processo erosivo. As análises de qualidade da água revelaram que as águas superficiais das sub-bacias estão quimicamente não impactadas, mas fisicamente degradadas. A alta pureza química deve-se, possivelmente, à ausência de áreas urbanizadas ao longo das sub-bacias e as alterações nas características físicas são, possivelmente, decorrentes das altas taxas de transfer
Maria Angela Echeverry-Galvis
Full Text Available A temporal separation of energetically costly life history events like reproduction and maintenance of the integumentary system is thought to be promoted by selection to avoid trade-offs and maximize fitness. It has therefore remained somewhat of a paradox that certain vertebrate species can undergo both events simultaneously. Identifying potential costs of overlapping two demanding life history stages will further our understanding of the selection pressures that shape the temporal regulation of life history events in vertebrates. We studied free-living tropical Slaty brush-finches (Atlapetes schistaceus, in which individuals spontaneously overlap reproduction and moult or undergo both events in separation. To assess possible costs of such an overlap we quantified feather quality and flight performance of individuals in different states. We determined individual's life history state by measuring gonad size and scoring moult stage, and collected a newly grown 7(th primary wing feather for later analysis of feather quality. Finally, we quantified flight performance for each individual in the wild. Overlapping individuals produced lighter and shorter wing feathers than individuals just moulting, with females decreasing feather quality more strongly during the overlap than males. Moreover, overlapping individuals had a reduced flight speed during escape flights, while their foraging flight speed was unaffected. Despite overlappers being larger and having a smaller wing area, their lower body mass resulted in a similar wing load as in breeders or moulters. Individuals measured repeatedly in different states also showed significant decreases in feather quality and escape flight speed during the overlap. Reduced escape flight speed may represent a major consequence of the overlap by increasing predation risk. Our data document costs to undergoing two life history stages simultaneously, which likely arise from energetic trade-offs. Impairments in
Kozlov, Mikhail V; Lanta, Vojtěch; Zverev, Vitali; Rainio, Kalle; Kunavin, Mikhail A; Zvereva, Elena L
Despite the increasing rate of urbanization, the consequences of this process on biotic interactions remain insufficiently studied. Our aims were to identify the general pattern of urbanization impact on background insect herbivory, to explore variations in this impact related to characteristics of both urban areas and insect-plant systems, and to uncover the factors governing urbanization impacts on insect herbivory. We compared the foliar damage inflicted on the most common trees by defoliating, leafmining and gall-forming insects in rural and urban habitats associated with 16 European cities. In two of these cities, we explored quality of birch foliage for herbivorous insects, mortality of leafmining insects due to predators and parasitoids and bird predation on artificial plasticine larvae. On average, the foliage losses to insects were 16.5% lower in urban than in rural habitats. The magnitude of the overall adverse effect of urbanization on herbivory was independent of the latitude of the locality and was similar in all 11 studied tree species, but increased with an increase in the size of the urban area: it was significant in large cities (city population 1-5 million) but not significant in medium-sized and small towns. Quality of birch foliage for herbivorous insects was slightly higher in urban habitats than in rural habitats. At the same time, leafminer mortality due to ants and birds and the bird attack intensity on dummy larvae were higher in large cities than in rural habitats, which at least partially explained the decline in insect herbivory observed in response to urbanization. Our findings underscore the importance of top-down forces in mediating impacts of urbanization on plant-feeding insects: factors favouring predators may override the positive effects of temperature elevation on insects and thus reduce plant damage. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Reurink, Florian; Hentze, Nathan; Rourke, Jay; Ydenberg, Ron
Many studies have investigated how foraging behavior such as prey choice varies with factors such as prey size or density. Models of such relationships can be applied "in reverse" to translate easily observed foraging behaviors into assays of habitat attributes that cannot (easily) be measured
Viana, Duarte S; Gangoso, Laura; Bouten, Willem; Figuerola, Jordi
Long-distance dispersal (LDD) promotes the colonization of isolated and remote habitats, and thus it has been proposed as a mechanism for explaining the distributions of many species. Birds are key LDD vectors for many sessile organisms such as plants, yet LDD beyond local and regional scales has never been directly observed nor quantified. By sampling birds caught while in migratory flight by GPS-tracked wild falcons, we show that migratory birds transport seeds over hundreds of kilometres and mediate dispersal from mainland to oceanic islands. Up to 1.2% of birds that reached a small island of the Canary Archipelago (Alegranza) during their migration from Europe to Sub-Saharan Africa carried seeds in their guts. The billions of birds making seasonal migrations each year may then transport millions of seeds. None of the plant species transported by the birds occurs in Alegranza and most do not occur on nearby Canary Islands, providing a direct example of the importance of environmental filters in hampering successful colonization by immigrant species. The constant propagule pressure generated by these LDD events might, nevertheless, explain the colonization of some islands. Hence, migratory birds can mediate rapid range expansion or shifts of many plant taxa and determine their distribution. © 2016 The Author(s).
Manral, Upma; Raha, Angshuman; Solanki, Ridhima; Hussain, Syed; Babu, Mattozbiyil; Mohan, Dhananjai; Veeraswami, Gopi; Sivakumar, K.; Talukdar, Gautam
The Okhla Bird Sanctuary (OBS), a man-modified floodplain wetland having high human impact, is located in an urbanized landscape. Its location in the Central Asian Flyway of migratory birds makes it an ideal transit and wintering ground for birds. This paper describes the vegetation composition and significance of the Sanctuary as a bird habitat. A floristic survey was carried out from winter 2009 to spring 2010 while preparing a management plan for OBS. 192 species of plants belonging to 46 ...
Paul C. Banko; Steven C. Hess; Paul G. Scowcroft; Chris Farmer; James D. Jacobi; Robert M. Stephens; Richard J. Camp; David L. Leonard; Kevin W. Brinck; J. O. Juvik; S. P. Juvik
Under the multiple-use paradigm, conflicts may arise when protection of an endangered species must compete with other management objectives. To resolve such a conflict in the Critical Habitat of the endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper, palila (Loxioides bailleui), federal courts ordered the eradication of introduced ungulates responsible for damaging...
Horstman, A.J.; Nawrot, J.R.; Woolf, A.
Surveys for interior wetland birds at mine-associated emergent wetlands on coal surface mines in southern Illinois detected one state threatened and two state endangered species. Breeding by least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) and common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) was confirmed. Regional assessment of potential wetland bird habitat south of Illinois Interstate 64 identified a total of 8,109 ha of emergent stable water wetlands; 10% were associated with mining. Mine-associated wetlands with persistent hydrology and large expanses of emergent vegetation provide habitat that could potentially compensate for loss of natural wetlands in Illinois
João P. Silva
Full Text Available Background Few studies have assessed the effectiveness of the Protected Area networks on the conservation status of target species. Here, we assess the effectiveness of the Portuguese Natura 2000 (the European Union network of protected areas in maintaining a species included in the Annex I of the Bird Directive, namely the population of a priority farmland bird, the little bustard Tetrax tetrax. Methods We measured the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 by comparing population trends across time (2003–2006 and 2016 in 51 areas, 21 of which within 12 Special Protection Areas (SPA that were mostly designated for farmland bird conservation and another 30 areas without EU protection. Results Overall, the national population is estimated to have declined 49% over the last 10–14 years. This loss was found to be proportionally larger outside SPA (64% decline compared to losses within SPA (25% decline. However, the absolute male density decline was significantly larger within SPA . Discussion In spite of holding higher population densities and having prevented habitat loss, we conclude that Natura 2000 was not effective in buffering against the overall bustard population decline. Results show that the mere designation of SPA in farmland is not enough to secure species populations and has to be combined with agricultural policies and investment to maintain not only habitat availability but also habitat quality.
Silva, João P; Correia, Ricardo; Alonso, Hany; Martins, Ricardo C; D'Amico, Marcello; Delgado, Ana; Sampaio, Hugo; Godinho, Carlos; Moreira, Francisco
Few studies have assessed the effectiveness of the Protected Area networks on the conservation status of target species. Here, we assess the effectiveness of the Portuguese Natura 2000 (the European Union network of protected areas) in maintaining a species included in the Annex I of the Bird Directive, namely the population of a priority farmland bird, the little bustard Tetrax tetrax . We measured the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 by comparing population trends across time (2003-2006 and 2016) in 51 areas, 21 of which within 12 Special Protection Areas (SPA) that were mostly designated for farmland bird conservation and another 30 areas without EU protection. Overall, the national population is estimated to have declined 49% over the last 10-14 years. This loss was found to be proportionally larger outside SPA (64% decline) compared to losses within SPA (25% decline). However, the absolute male density decline was significantly larger within SPA . In spite of holding higher population densities and having prevented habitat loss, we conclude that Natura 2000 was not effective in buffering against the overall bustard population decline. Results show that the mere designation of SPA in farmland is not enough to secure species populations and has to be combined with agricultural policies and investment to maintain not only habitat availability but also habitat quality.
Reif, Andrew G.
Biological, chemical, and habitat data have been collected from a network of sites in Chester County, Pa., from 1970 to 2003 to assess stream quality. Forty sites in 6 major stream basins were sampled between 1998 and 2000. Biological data were used to determine levels of impairment in the benthic-macroinvertebrate community in Chester County streams and relate the impairment, in conjunction with chemical and habitat data, to overall stream quality. Biological data consisted of benthic-macroinvertebrate samples that were collected annually in the fall. Water-chemistry samples were collected and instream habitat was assessed in support of the biological sampling.Most sites in the network were designated as nonimpacted or slightly impacted by human activities or extreme climatic conditions on the basis of biological-metric analysis of benthic-macroinvertebrate data. Impacted sites were affected by factors, such as nutrient enrichment, erosion and sedimentation, point discharges, and droughts and floods. Streams in the Schuylkill River, Delaware River, and East Branch Brandywine Creek Basins in Chester County generally had low nutrient concentrations, except in areas affected by wastewater-treatment discharges, and stream habitat that was affected by erosion. Streams in the West Branch Brandywine, Christina, Big Elk, and Octoraro Creek Basins in Chester County generally had elevated nutrient concentrations and streambottom habitat that was affected by sediment deposition.Macroinvertebrate communities identified in samples from French Creek, Pigeon Creek (Schuylkill River Basin), and East Branch Brandywine Creek at Glenmoore consistently indicate good stream conditions and were the best conditions measured in the network. Macroinvertebrate communities identified in samples from Trout Creek (site 61), West Branch Red Clay Creek (site 55) (Christina River Basin), and Valley Creek near Atglen (site 34) (Octoraro Creek Basin) indicated fair to poor stream conditions and
Askia K. Wittern
Full Text Available Natal dispersal is an important component in bird population dynamics and can influence the persistence of local and metapopulations. We examined natal dispersal in the North Island robin (Petroica longipes, a sedentary bird species distributed in a fragmented forest habitat on Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand. Earlier studies have shown that the only dispersal phase in this species takes place when juveniles leave their natal patch, and that juveniles who fail to find suitable habitat do not survive their first winter. These findings suggest that natal dispersal behavior in this species is important for population viability. We found that juveniles were highly affected by the fragmentation of the forest habitat, with patch occupancy being positively correlated with degree of connectivity of the landscape. Most juvenile movements (52.1% were observed between patches that were separated by less than 20 m. Juvenile North Island robins were found in all forest habitat types, including young and open stands. This suggests that the juveniles are not dependent on old forest stands during their dispersal phase. Based on these findings, we suggest that management of this regionally-threatened species should focus not only on maintaining populations in occupied patches and increasing the habitat quality of these patches, but also on protecting existing forest patches acting as corridors and creating new forest habitat among patches. This would greatly increase the viability of the species' metapopulations by increasing dispersal success between both unoccupied patches and subpopulations. Additionally, increased connectivity between forest patches could also be expected to increase the probability of successful dispersal of other threatened native species, many of which are also sensitive to the high degree of fragmentation of their habitats.
Baskin, R.L.; Spangler, L.E.; Holmes, W.F.
From February 1991 to October 1992, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, investigated the hydrology of the Lincoln Point - Bird Island area in the southeast part of Utah Lake, Utah. The investigation included measurements of the discharge of selected springs and measurements of the physical and chemical characteristics of water from selected springs and wells in the LincolnPoint - Bird Island area. This report contains data for twenty-one distinct springs in the study area including two springs beneath the surface of Utah Lake at Bird Island. Data from this study, combined with data from previous studies, indicate that the location of springs in the Lincoln Point - Bird Island area probably is controlled by fractures that are the result of faulting. Measured discharge of springs in the Lincoln Point - Bird Island area ranged from less than 0.01 cubic foot per second to 0.84 cubic foot per second. Total discharge in the study area, including known unmeasured springs and seeps, is estimated to be about 5 cubic feet per second. Reported and measured temperatures of water from springs and wells in the Lincoln Point - Bird Island area ranged from 16.0 degrees Celsius to 36.5 degrees Celsius. Dissolved-solids con-centrations ranged from 444 milligrams per liter to 7,932 milligrams per liter, and pH ranged from 6.3 to 8.1. Physical and chemical characteristics of spring and well water from the west side of Lincoln Point were virtually identical to the physical and chemical characteristics of water from the submerged Bird Island springs, indicating a similar source for the water. Water chemistry, isotope analyses, and geothermometer calculations indicate deep circulation of water discharging from the springs and indicate that the source of recharge for the springs at Lincoln Point and Bird Island does not appear to be localized in the LincolnPoint - Bird Island area.
Joyce, Hannah; Reaney, Sim
Catchment systems provide multiple benefits for society, including: land for agriculture, climate regulation and recreational space. Yet, these systems also have undesirable externalities, such as flooding, and the benefits they create can be compromised through societal use. For example, agriculture, forestry and urban land use practices can increase the export of fine sediment and faecal indicator organisms (FIO) delivered to river systems. These diffuse landscape pressures are coupled with pressures on the in stream temperature environment from projected climate change. Such pressures can have detrimental impacts on water quality and ecological habitat and consequently the benefits they provide for society. These diffuse and in-stream pressures can be reduced through actions at the landscape scale but are commonly tackled individually. Any intervention may have benefits for other pressures and hence the challenge is to consider all of the different pressures simultaneously to find solutions with high levels of cross-pressure benefits. This research presents (1) a simple but spatially distributed model to predict the pattern of multiple pressures at the landscape scale, and (2) a method for spatially targeting the optimum location for riparian woodland planting as mitigation action against these pressures. The model follows a minimal information requirement approach along the lines of SCIMAP (www.scimap.org.uk). This approach defines the critical source areas of fine sediment diffuse pollution, rapid overland flow and FIOs, based on the analysis of the pattern of the pressure in the landscape and the connectivity from source areas to rivers. River temperature was modeled using a simple energy balance equation; focusing on temperature of inflowing and outflowing water across a catchment. The model has been calibrated using a long term observed temperature record. The modelling outcomes enabled the identification of the severity of each pressure in relative rather
Martin, Thomas E.; Maron, John L.
The contribution of climate change to declining populations of organisms remains a question of outstanding concern. Much attention to declining populations has focused on how changing climate drives phenological mismatches between animals and their food. Effects of climate on plant communities may provide an alternative, but particularly powerful, influence on animal populations because plants provide their habitats. Here, we show that abundances of deciduous trees and associated songbirds have declined with decreasing snowfall over 22 years of study in montane Arizona, USA. We experimentally tested the hypothesis that declining snowfall indirectly influences plants and associated birds by allowing greater over-winter herbivory by elk (Cervus canadensis). We excluded elk from one of two paired snowmelt drainages (10 ha per drainage), and replicated this paired experiment across three distant canyons. Over six years, we reversed multi-decade declines in plant and bird populations by experimentally inhibiting heavy winter herbivory associated with declining snowfall. Moreover, predation rates on songbird nests decreased in exclosures, despite higher abundances of nest predators, demonstrating the over-riding importance of habitat quality to avian recruitment. Thus, our results suggest that climate impacts on plant–animal interactions can have forceful ramifying effects on plants, birds, and ecological interactions.
Pires, Daniel Filipe Carvalho Miranda, 1977-
Tese de doutoramento, Biologia (Ecologia), Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências, 2012 Patterns of fish distribution and abundance in streams are currently thought of as a product of multi-scale factors. Local habitats, spatial relationships and movement are increasingly emerging as drivers of population and assemblage dynamics, though the way in which these factors may interplay remains poorly addressed, particularly in temporary streams. This dissertation addressed the role of mu...
April A. Woodward; Alix D. Fink; Frank R. Thompson III
The effect of habitat edge on avian nesting success has been the focus of considerable debate. We studied relationships between habitat edges, locations of nests, and predation. We tested the ecological trap hypothesis for 5 shrubland bird species in the Missouri Ozarks. We compared habitat selection and daily nest predation rates among 3 distance-to-edge categories....
Pan, Huo Ping; Fouts, James R.
Papers published over 100 years since the beginning of the scientific study of drug metabolism in birds were reviewed. Birds were found to be able to accomplish more than 20 general biotransformation reactions in both functionalization and conjugation. Chickens were the primary subject of study but over 30 species of birds were used. Large species differences in drug metabolism exist between birds and mammals as well as between various birds, these differences were mostly quantitative. Qualitative differences were rare. On the whole, drug metabolism studies in birds have been neglected as compared with similar studies on insects and mammals. The uniqueness of birds and the advantages of using birds in drug metabolism studies are discussed. Possible future studies of drug metabolism in birds are recommended.
Composicion de aves del Pacifico Sur de Nicaragua enfatizando las especies indicadoras dependientes de bosque [Community composition of Nicaragua's Pacific Slope forest birds, emphasizing forest quality-dependent species
M. Torrez; W.J. Arendt; M. Sotelo
Given the importance of biological corridors, it is necessary to evaluate their fauna especially those species are bioindicators of habitat quality, to determine patterns and extent of community diversity and how such factors reflect the level of conservation within and among green corridors in general. We investigated how selected landscape features within the Paso...
California Department of Resources — This layer depicts areas designated for Chinook Critical Habitat as well as habitat type and quality in the California Coastal Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU -...
M.T. Hallworth; L.R. Reitsma; K. Parent
We used radiotelemetry to quantify habitat and spatial use patterns of neighboring Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) along two streams in the Caribbean National Forest in Puerto Rico during 2005â2007. Home range sizes varied with younger birds having larger home ranges and core areas than older birds. All birds occupied some length of stream but a wide range...
Boulanger, Yan; Cyr, Dominic; Taylor, Anthony R.; Price, David T.; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues
Many studies project future bird ranges by relying on correlative species distribution models. Such models do not usually represent important processes explicitly related to climate change and harvesting, which limits their potential for predicting and understanding the future of boreal bird assemblages at the landscape scale. In this study, we attempted to assess the cumulative and specific impacts of both harvesting and climate-induced changes on wildfires and stand-level processes (e.g., reproduction, growth) in the boreal forest of eastern Canada. The projected changes in these landscape- and stand-scale processes (referred to as “drivers of change”) were then assessed for their impacts on future habitats and potential productivity of black-backed woodpecker (BBWO; Picoides arcticus), a focal species representative of deadwood and old-growth biodiversity in eastern Canada. Forest attributes were simulated using a forest landscape model, LANDIS-II, and were used to infer future landscape suitability to BBWO under three anthropogenic climate forcing scenarios (RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5), compared to the historical baseline. We found climate change is likely to be detrimental for BBWO, with up to 92% decline in potential productivity under the worst-case climate forcing scenario (RCP 8.5). However, large declines were also projected under baseline climate, underlining the importance of harvest in determining future BBWO productivity. Present-day harvesting practices were the single most important cause of declining areas of old-growth coniferous forest, and hence appeared as the single most important driver of future BBWO productivity, regardless of the climate scenario. Climate-induced increases in fire activity would further promote young, deciduous stands at the expense of old-growth coniferous stands. This suggests that the biodiversity associated with deadwood and old-growth boreal forests may be greatly altered by the cumulative impacts of natural and
Chan, Jasper Fuk-Woo; To, Kelvin Kai-Wang; Chen, Honglin; Yuen, Kwok-Yung
Birds, the only living member of the Dinosauria clade, are flying warm-blooded vertebrates displaying high species biodiversity, roosting and migratory behavior, and a unique adaptive immune system. Birds provide the natural reservoir for numerous viral species and therefore gene source for evolution, emergence and dissemination of novel viruses. The intrusions of human into natural habitats of wild birds, the domestication of wild birds as pets or racing birds, and the increasing poultry consumption by human have facilitated avian viruses to cross species barriers to cause zoonosis. Recently, a novel adenovirus was exclusively found in birds causing an outbreak of Chlamydophila psittaci infection among birds and humans. Instead of being the primary cause of an outbreak by jumping directly from bird to human, a novel avian virus can be an augmenter of another zoonotic agent causing the outbreak. A comprehensive avian virome will improve our understanding of birds' evolutionary dynamics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Abstract There is little information about the status and ecology of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra in Iran. We assessed the habitat suitability for otters of the River Jajrood, Tehran province, measuring, or visually estimating, 12 environmental parameters along 16 600 m long river stretches (sampling sites. The downstream stretches of the river were found to be more suitable for otters with respect to the upper part of its course. Although the assessments of habitat suitability for the otter may be affected by several limits, the current distribution of the species on the river agrees with the results of this study. The preservation of the otter in Tehran province should involve the restoration of the ecosystem of the River Jajrood in order to improve the length of suitable river stretches.
Riassunto Stima dell’idoneità ambientale per la lontra (Lutra lutra del fiume Jajrood, Iran. Le informazioni relative alla lontra (Lutra lutra in Iran sono scarse. L’idoneità ambientale per la specie del fiume Jajrood, provincia di Tehran, è stata valutata, misurando o stimando 12 parametri ambientali lungo 16 stazioni di campionamento, coincidenti con tratti di fiume della lunghezza di 600 m. I tratti più a valle sono risultati più idonei rispetto al corso superiore del fiume. Malgrado i numerosi limiti del metodo di stima dell’idoneità ambientale adottato, i risultati sono in accordo con l’attuale distribuzione della lontra lungo il fiume Jajrood. La conservazione della lontra nella provincia di Tehran dovrebbe prevedere miglioramenti ambientali volti a incrementare lo sviluppo lineare degli habitat idonei lungo il fiume Jajrood.
Status for investigations of birds and proposals for further investigations of birds in 2002 and 2003 for Horns Rev offshore wind farm; Status for fugleundersoegelser samt forslag til opfoelgende fugleundersoegelser i 2002 og 2003 for Horns Rev vindmoellepark
The purpose of the investigations of birds is to establish a knowledge and data base that can make possible to enlighten the extent and character of potential influences the offshore wind farm might have on the birds. The potential influences the offshore wind farm might have on birds include: a) modification of the habitat, b) collision effects, and c) disturbances. (BA)
Sumasgutner, Petra; Nemeth, Erwin; Tebb, Graham; Krenn, Harald W; Gamauf, Anita
Urbanization is a global phenomenon that is encroaching on natural habitats and decreasing biodiversity, although it is creating new habitats for some species. The Eurasian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is frequently associated with urbanized landscapes but it is unclear what lies behind the high densities of kestrels in the urban environment. Occupied nest sites in the city of Vienna, Austria were investigated along a gradient of urbanization (percentage of land covered by buildings or used by traffic). Field surveys determined the abundance of potential prey (birds and rodents) and the results were compared to the birds' diets. A number of breeding parameters were recorded over the course of three years. The majority of kestrels breed in semi-natural cavities in historic buildings. Nearest neighbour distances (NND) were smallest and reproductive success lowest in the city centre. Abundance of potential prey was not found to relate to the degree of urbanization but there was a significant shift in the birds' diets from a heavy reliance on rodents in the outskirts of the city to feeding more on small birds in the centre. The use of urban habitats was associated with higher nest failure, partly associated with predation and nest desertion, and with significantly lower hatching rates and smaller fledged broods. High breeding densities in urban habitats do not necessarily correlate with high habitat quality. The high density of kestrel nests in the city centre is probably due to the ready availability of breeding cavities. Highly urbanized areas in Vienna are associated with unexpected costs for the city dwelling-raptor, in terms both of prey availability and of reproductive success. The kestrel appears to be exploiting the urban environment but given the poor reproductive performance of urban kestrels it is likely that the species is falling into an ecological trap.
Full Text Available The present paper acts as an introduction to a series that will describe the exploratory analyses of migration phenology and morphometrics of the most common passerine species at the Ócsa Bird Ringing Station. This station is situated in the Ócsa Landscape Protection Area that belongs to the Duna–Ipoly National Park, Hungary. The area is somewhat cooler and more humid than the surrounding agricultural fields and tree plantations, covered by a mosaic of diverse hygrophilous vegetation patches. Bird trapping is mostly based on Japanese mist-net lines crossing different plant communities. During the period of 1984–2015, a total of 422,862 birds were trapped and ringed here, while 202,739 local, 1,235 within country, and 443 foreign recaptures were also recorded. Each bird is characterized by the following data: location and time of capture, species, age, sex, scores of fat, pectoral muscle, wing tip abrasion, and moult, length of wing, 3rd primary, and tail, and body mass. After subjected to a rigorous quality check, digital data are deposited in the archive of the Hungarian Bird Ringing Centre, and the EURING data base. From time to time, other research projects also utilized the accessibility of wild birds captured here, thus collection of blood samples, ecto- and endoparasites was carried out at the station. The relatively long time span, large number of species and individuals, and the readily available environmental (weather, vegetation, etc. data makes the avian data collected here a suitable base for studies of various disciplines like capture methodology, habitat preferences, breeding, migration, and wintering, effects of weather and climate change, and epidemiology of viruses and parasites.
Ruth, Janet M.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Sojda, Richard S.; Dawson, Deanna K.; Diehl, Robert H.; Manville, Albert; Green, Michael T.; Krueper, David J.; Johnston, Scott
Migratory birds face many changes to the landscapes they traverse and the habitats they use. Wind turbines and communications towers, which pose hazards to birds and bats in flight, are being erected or proposed across the United States and offshore. Human activities can also destroy or threaten habitats critical to birds during migratory passage, and climate change appears to be altering migratory patterns. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other agencies are under increasing pressure to identify and evaluate movement patterns and habitats used during migration and other times.
Sabatier, R; Teillard, F; Rossing, W A H; Doyen, L; Tichit, M
In European grassland landscapes, grazing and mowing play a key role for the maintenance of high-quality habitats that host important bird populations. As grasslands are also key resources for cattle feeding, there is a need to develop management strategies that achieve the double objective of production and biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to use a modelling approach to generate recognisable patterns of bird dynamics in farms composed of different land use proportions, and to compare their production and ecological dimensions. We developed a dynamic model, which linked grassland management to bird population dynamics at the field and farm levels. The model was parameterised for two types of suckling farms corresponding to contrasting levels of grassland intensification and for two bird species of high conservation value. A viability algorithm was used to define and assess viable management strategies for production and ecological performance so as to draw the shape of the relationship between both types of performances for the two types of farms. Our results indicated that, at the farm level, there was a farming system effect with a negative and non-linear relationship linking performance. Improving bird population maintenance was less costly in extensive farms compared with intensive farms. At the field level, the model predicted the timing and intensity of land use, maximising either production or ecological performance. The results suggested that multi-objective grassland management would benefit from public policies that consider levels of organisation higher than the field level, such as the farm or the landscape.
Eugene S. Morton; Bridget J. M. Stutchbury
Migratory birds are birds of two worlds, breeding in the temperate zone then living as tropical birds for most of the year. We show two aspects of this unique biology that are important considerations for their conservation. First, habitat selection for breeding must include their need for extra-pair mating opportunities. Second, non-breeding distributions in tropical...
Full Text Available Most wildlife habitats and migratory routes are extremely threatened due to increasing demands on forestland and forest resources by burgeoning human population. Corridor landscape in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT is one among them, subjected to various anthropogenic pressures. Human habitation, intensive farming, coffee plantations, ill-planned infrastructure developments and rapid spreading of invasive plant species Lantana camara, pose a serious threat to wildlife habitat and their migration. Aim of this work is to create detailed NDVI based land change maps and to use them to identify time-series trends in greening and browning in forest corridors in the study area and to identify the drivers that are influencing the observed changes. Over the four decades in BRT, NDVI increased in the core area of the forest and reduced in the fringe areas. The change analysis between 1973 and 2014 shows significant changes; browning due to anthropogenic activities as well as natural processes and greening due to Lantana spread. This indicates that the change processes are complex, involving multiple driving factors, such as socio-economic changes, high population growth, historical forest management practices and policies. Our study suggests that the use of updated and accurate change detection maps will be useful in taking appropriate site specific action-oriented conservation decisions to restore and manage the degraded critical wildlife corridors in human-dominated landscape.
Fenu, Giuseppe; Bernardo, Liliana
Abstract Spatial shifts in insect fauna due to ecological heterogeneity can severely constrain plant reproduction. Nonetheless, data showing effects of insect visit patterns and intensity of mutualistic and/or antagonistic plant–insect interactions on plant reproduction over structured ecological gradients remain scarce. We investigated how changes in flower-visitor abundance, identity and behaviour over a forest-open habitat gradient affect plant biotic interactions, and quantitative and qualitative fitness in the edge-specialist Dianthus balbisii. Composition and behaviour of the insects visiting flowers of D. balbisii strongly varied over the study gradient, influencing strength and patterns of plant biotic interactions (i.e. herbivory and pollination likelihood). Seed set comparison in free- and manually pollinated flowers suggested spatial variations in the extent of quantitative pollen limitation, which appeared more pronounced at the gradient extremes. Such variations were congruent to patterns of flower visit and plant biotic interactions. The analyses on seed and seedling viability evidenced that spatial variation in amount and type of pollinators, and frequency of herbivory affected qualitative fitness of D. balbisii by influencing selfing and outcrossing rates. Our work emphasizes the role of plant biotic interactions as a fine-scale mediator of plant fitness in ecotones, highlighting that optimal plant reproduction can take place into a restricted interval of the ecological gradients occurring at forest edges. Reducing the habitat complexity typical of such transition contexts can threat edge-adapted plants. PMID:28775831
Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.; Becker, Miles E.; Young, Jock S.; Wong-Kone, Diane C.; Newton, Wesley E.; Ammon, Elisabeth M.
Ecological niche theory implies that more heterogeneous habitats have the potential to support greater biodiversity. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships have been found for most studies investigating animal taxa, although negative relationships also occur and the scale dependence of heterogeneity-diversity relationships is little known. We investigated multi-scale, heterogeneity-diversity relationships for bird communities in a semi-arid riparian landscape, using airborne LiDAR data to derive key measures of structural habitat complexity. Habitat heterogeneity-diversity relationships were generally positive, although the overall strength of relationships varied across avian life history guilds (R2 range: 0.03–0.41). Best predicted were the species richness indices of cavity nesters, habitat generalists, woodland specialists, and foliage foragers. Heterogeneity-diversity relationships were also strongly scale-dependent, with strongest associations at the 200-m scale (4 ha) and weakest associations at the 50-m scale (0.25 ha). Our results underscore the value of LiDAR data for fine-grained quantification of habitat structure, as well as the need for biodiversity studies to incorporate variation among life-history guilds and to simultaneously consider multiple guild functional types (e.g. nesting, foraging, habitat). Results suggest that certain life-history guilds (foliage foragers, cavity nesters, woodland specialists) are more susceptible than others (ground foragers, ground nesters, low nesters) to experiencing declines in local species richness if functional elements of habitat heterogeneity are lost. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships imply that riparian conservation efforts need to not only provide high-quality riparian habitat locally, but also to provide habitat heterogeneity across multiple scales.
Roy, W. K. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Giffen, N. R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Wade, M. C. [CDM Smith (United States); Haines, A. M. [Xcel Engineering, Inc.(United States); Evans, J. W. [Tennessee WIldlife Resources Agency (WRA), Nashville, TN (United States); Jett, R. T. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Bird data have been collected through surveys, environmental assessments, and other observations for decades in the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park, located on the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in East Tennessee. Birds were recorded in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, interior forests, grasslands, ponds, corridors, forest edges, and more. Most of the information was gathered from waterfowl surveys conducted from 1990 to 2008, from Partners in Flight (PIF) breeding bird surveys conducted from 1995 to 2013, and from past publications and research on Reservation birds. We have also included our own observations and, in a few instances, credible observations of ORR birds of which we have been made aware through eBird or discussions with area ornithologists and bird watchers. For the period 1950-2014, we were able to document 228 species of birds on the ORR. Several of these species are known from historic records only, while others were not known to have ever occurred on the Reservation until recently. This report does not include PIF breeding bird data from the 2014 season or any records after July 2014. Twenty-two species--approximately 10% of the total number of species observed--have state-listed status in Tennessee as endangered, threatened, or in need of management. Of the 228 species we documented, 120 are believed to be breeding birds on the ORR.
Roy, W. Kelly [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Giffen, Neil R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Wade, Murray [CDM Smith, Inc., Knoxville, TN (United States); Haines, Angelina [Xcel Engineering, Inc., Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Evans, James W. [Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Nashville, TN (United States); Jett, Robert Trent [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Bird data have been collected through surveys, environmental assessments, and other observations for decades in the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park, located on the US Department of Energy s Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in East Tennessee. Birds were recorded in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, interior forests, grasslands, ponds, corridors, forest edges, and more. Most of the information was gathered from waterfowl surveys conducted from 1990 to 2008, from Partners in Flight (PIF) breeding bird surveys conducted from 1995 to 2013, and from past publications and research on Reservation birds. We have also included our own observations and, in a few instances, credible observations of ORR birds of which we have been made aware through eBird or discussions with area ornithologists and bird watchers. For the period 1950 2014, we were able to document 228 species of birds on the ORR. Several of these species are known from historic records only, while others were not known to have ever occurred on the Reservation until recently. This report does not include PIF breeding bird data from the 2014 season or any records after July 2014. Twenty-two species approximately 10% of the total number of species observed have state-listed status in Tennessee as endangered, threatened, or in need of management. Of the 228 species we documented, 120 are believed to be breeding birds on the ORR.
Holder, M. [TransAlta Wind, Calgary, AB (Canada)
This PowerPoint presentation described TransAlta's ongoing study of wind power and bird interactions, and outlined the company's plans for the future. The deaths of large birds were noticed by the public as well as by the operators of wind farms built in response to the energy crisis of the 1970s. Post-construction casualty monitoring was established in 1994 in order to understand the direct effects of wind power projects on birds as well as to amass data and identify the broader issues affecting bird mortalities. Increased regulatory rigour led to a further clarification of the techniques used to monitor bird deaths. A study of the amassed data demonstrated that birds were not being killed in large numbers, but that common bird species in a given area were the most common casualties observed at wind farms. Particular species were not predisposed to be at risk. Significant declines in bird species have been noted in Canada, and many population declines have occurred in species located in landscapes well-suited for wind farms. The declines have meant that more scrutiny is placed on wind development projects and their potential cumulative effect. The direct effects of wind turbines on birds are not yet well-understood. The requirements for pre- and post-construction data collection must be reviewed and amended. Future studies will consider bird casualties as well as habitat and behavioural changes. tabs., figs.
The most prominent conservation concerns are typically habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. The role of habitat degradation has received comparatively little attention. But research has shown that the quality of habitat patches can significantly influence wildlife population d...
Dabelsteen, T.; Larsen, O N; Pedersen, Simon Boel
measures were calculated from changes of the amplitude functions (i.e., envelopes) of the degraded songs using a new technique which allowed a compensation for the contribution of the background noise to the amplitude values. Representative songs were broadcast in a deciduous forest without leaves......The habitat-induced degradation of the full song of the blackbird (Turdus merula) was quantified by measuring excess attenuation, reduction of the signal-to-noise ratio, and blur ratio, the latter measure representing the degree of blurring of amplitude and frequency patterns over time. All three...
We examined patterns of habitat use by waterbirds (waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds) at a series of urban and non-urban marine habitats in Narragansett Bay during 2005-2007. Average waterbird abundance at urban sites was significantly higher than at rural sites (304 ± 59.7...
Through research in old mythological narrations, and literary texts, one could assume an intrinsic relationship between music and such sweet-singing mythological birds as phoenix, sphinx, Song-song, holy birds like Kership-tah, and other birds including swan and ring dove.
... your pet’s health Visit a veterinarian who has experience with pet birds for routine check-ups to keep your bird healthy and prevent infectious diseases. If your bird becomes sick or dies within a month after purchase or adoption: Contact your veterinarian. Inform the pet ...
National Audubon Society, New York, NY.
Included are a student reader, "The Story of Birds," a leaders' guide, a large colored Audubon bird chart, and a separate guide for the chart. The student reader is divided into eleven sections which relate to the various physical and behavioral features of birds such as feathers, feeding habits as related to the shape of bills and feet, nests,…
Virginia H. Dale
Full Text Available A computer simulation model, the Regional Simulator (RSim, was constructed to project how land-use changes affect the quality of water, air, noise, and habitat of species of special concern. RSim was designed to simulate these environmental impacts for five counties in Georgia that surround and include Fort Benning. The model combines existing data and modeling approaches to simulate the effects of land-cover changes on: nutrient export by hydrological unit; peak 8-h average ozone concentrations; noise caused by small arms and blasts; and habitat changes for the rare Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis and gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus. The model also includes submodules for urban growth, new urbanization influenced by existing roads, nonurban land cover transitions, and a new military training area under development at Fort Benning. The model was run under scenarios of business as usual (BAU and greatly increased urban growth for the region. The projections show that the effects of high urban growth will likely differ from those of BAU for noise and nitrogen and phosphorus loadings to surface water, but not for peak airborne ozone concentrations, at least in the absence of associated increases in industry and transportation use or technology changes. In both scenarios, no effects of urban growth are anticipated for existing populations of the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. In contrast, habitat for gopher tortoise in the five-county region is projected to decline by 5 and 40% in the BAU and high urban growth scenarios, respectively. RSim is designed to assess the relative environmental impacts of planned activities both inside and outside military installations and to address concerns related to encroachment and transboundary influences.
Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Jiménez, Juan
One speaks of ecological substitutes when an introduced species performs, to some extent, the ecosystem function of an extirpated native species. We suggest that a similar case exists for habitats. Species evolve within ecosystems, but habitats can be destroyed or modified by natural and human-made causes. Sometimes habitat alteration forces animals to move to or remain in a suboptimal habitat type. In that case, the habitat is considered a refuge, and the species is called a refugee. Typically refugee species have lower population growth rates than in their original habitats. Human action may lead to the unintended generation of artificial or semiartificial habitat types that functionally resemble the essential features of the original habitat and thus allow a population growth rate of the same magnitude or higher than in the original habitat. We call such areas substitution habitats and define them as human-made habitats within the focal species range that by chance are partial substitutes for the species' original habitat. We call species occupying a substitution habitat adopted species. These are 2 new terms in conservation biology. Examples of substitution habitats are dams for European otters, wheat and rice fields for many steppeland and aquatic birds, and urban areas for storks, falcons, and swifts. Although substitution habitats can bring about increased resilience against the agents of global change, the conservation of original habitat types remains a conservation priority. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.
Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Stephen N. Matthews; Matthew P. Peters
We present an approach to modeling potential climate-driven changes in habitat for tree and bird species in the eastern United States. First, we took an empirical-statistical modeling approach, using randomForest, with species abundance data from national inventories combined with soil, climate, and landscape variables, to build abundance-based habitat models for 134...
Fitzgerald, Jane A.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Dettmers, Randy; Jones, Tim; Rustay, Christopher; Ruth, Janet M.; Thompson, Frank R.; Will, Tom; Millspaugh, Joshua J.; Thompson, Frank R.
Partners in Flight (PIF), a public–private coalition for the conservation of land birds, has developed one of four international bird conservation plans recognized under the auspices of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). Partners in Flight prioritized species most in need of conservation attention and set range-wide population goals for 448 species of terrestrial birds. Partnerships are now tasked with developing spatially explicit estimates of the distribution, and abundance of priority species across large ecoregions and identifying habitat acreages needed to support populations at prescribed levels. The PIF Five Elements process of conservation design identifies five steps needed to implement all bird conservation at the ecoregional scale. Habitat assessment and landscape characterization describe the current amounts of different habitat types and summarize patch characteristics, and landscape configurations that define the ability of a landscape to sustain healthy bird populations and are a valuable first step to describing the planning area before pursuing more complex species-specific models. Spatially linked database models, landscape-scale habitat suitability models, and statistical models are viable alternatives for predicting habitat suitability or bird abundance across large planning areas to help assess conservation opportunities, design landscapes to meet population objectives, and monitor change in habitat suitability or bird numbers over time.Bird conservation in the United States is a good example of the use of models in large-scale wildlife conservation planning because of its geographic extent, focus on multiple species, involvement of multiple partners, and use of simple to complex models. We provide some background on the recent development of bird conservation initiatives in the United States and the approaches used for regional conservation assessment and planning. We focus on approaches being used for landscape
Quinn, Nigel W.T.
The San Joaquin River Riparian Habitat Restoration Program (SJRRP) has recognized the potential importance of real-time monitoring and management to the success of the San Joaquin River (SJR) restoration endeavor. The first step to realizing making real-time management a reality on the middle San Joaquin River between Friant Dam and the Merced River will be the installation and operation of a network of permanent telemetered gauging stations that will allow optimization of reservoir releases made specifically for fish water temperature management. Given the limited reservoir storage volume available to the SJJRP, this functionality will allow the development of an adaptive management program, similar in concept to the VAMP though with different objectives. The virtue of this approach is that as management of the middle SJR becomes more routine, additional sensors can be added to the sensor network, initially deployed, to continue to improve conditions for anadromous fish.
Rodney B. Siegel; Peter Pyle; James H. Thorne; Andrew J. Holguin; Christine A. Howell; Sarah Stock; Morgan W. Tingley
In a rapidly changing climate, effective bird conservation requires not only reliable information about the current vulnerability of species of conservation concern, but also credible projections of their future vulnerability. Such projections may enable managers to preempt or reduce emerging climate-related threats through appropriate habitat management. We used NatureServe's Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to predict vulnerability to climate change of 168 bird species that breed i...
Full Text Available Loach exhibit conspicuous drilling behaviors in the mud of shallow waters, yet their burrow morphology and the factors affecting this behavior have received little attention. We characterized the burrow morphology and water quality of the pond loach Misgurnus anguillicaudatus in three scenarios: in tanks without plants, tanks with the free-floating plant water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes, and tanks with water lettuce Pistia stratiotes. Water hyacinth effectively removed water TN, COD, NO3-N and NH4-N, and water lettuce removed water TP and NH4-N. Water hyacinth and water lettuce markedly reduced water turbidity and DO, increased TOC and EC. Water hyacinth purified water more effectively than water lettuce, providing a suitable habitat for loach feeding, living and burrowing. The burrow structures were V-shaped, Y-shaped, inverted L-shaped, or complicated dendritic networks composed of multiple V shapes. The hyacinth treatment was characterized by the greatest burrow volume, length, depth, and structural complexity, but the opening size was reduced by dense root mat coverage. Burrows in the water lettuce treatment were characterized by intermediate volume, length, branches and sinuosity, but they had the largest opening and pit size. The control treatment had a flat bottom with the smallest, shortest burrows. This study indicates that free-floating plants improve habitat suitability and change burrow morphology and may be used to improve loach breeding methods.
Anna M Mangan
Full Text Available As the largest terrestrial biomes, crop and pasturelands can have very large positive or negative impacts on biodiversity and human well-being. Understanding how animals use and impact agroecosystems is important for making informed decisions that achieve conservation and production outcomes. Yet, few studies examine the tradeoffs associated with wildlife in agricultural systems. We examined bird use of organic apple orchards as well as how birds influence fruit production positively through control of an economically important insect pest (codling moth (Cydia pomonella and negatively through fruit damage. We conducted transect surveys, observed bird frugivory and assessed bird and insect damage with an exclosure experiment in small organic farms in western Colorado. We found that organic apple orchards in this region provide habitat for a large number of both human-adapted and human-sensitive species and that the species in orchards were relatively similar to adjacent hedgerow habitats. Habitat use did not vary as a function of orchard characteristics, and apple damage by both birds and C. pomonella was consistent within and across apple blocks that varied in size. A small subset of bird species was observed foraging on apples yet the effect of birds as agents of fruit damage appeared rather minor and birds did not reduce C. pomonella damage. Our results demonstrate that organic apple orchards have the potential to provide habitat for diverse bird communities, including species typically sensitive to human activities, with little apparent effect on production.
Taylor, David L.; Nichols, Ryan S.; Able, Kenneth W.
In this study, seasonal and annual variability in the use of estuarine and ocean beaches by young-of-the-year bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix, was evaluated by indices of abundance in coastal areas of southern New Jersey (1998-2000). Biological and physical factors measured at specific sites were correlated with bluefish abundance to determine the mechanisms underlying habitat selection. In addition, integrative and discrete indicators of bluefish growth were used to examine spatio-temporal dynamics in habitat quality and its effect on habitat selection by multiple cohorts of bluefish. Intra-annual recruitment to coastal areas of southern New Jersey was episodic, and resulted from the ingress of spring-spawned bluefish (hatch-date ˜April) to estuarine beaches in late May to early June, followed by the recruitment of summer-spawned fish (hatch-date ˜early July) to ocean beaches from July to October. Bluefish utilized estuarine and ocean beaches in a facultative manner that was responsive to dynamics in prey composition and temperature conditions. The recruitment and residency of bluefish in the estuary (1998-1999) and ocean beaches (1998), for example, was coincidental with the presence of the Atlantic silverside Menidia menidia and bay anchovy Anchoa mitchilli, the principal prey species for bluefish occupying these respective habitat-types. Bluefish abundance in the estuary (2000) and ocean beaches (1999-2000) was also correlated with water temperature, with the greatest catches of juveniles coinciding with their optimal growth temperature (24 °C). Bluefish growth, estimated as the slope of age-length relationships and daily specific growth rates, equaled 1.27-2.63 mm fork length (FL) d -1 and 3.8-8.7% body length increase d -1, respectively. The growth of sagittal otoliths was also used as a proxy for changes in bluefish size during and shortly before their time of capture. Accordingly, otolith growth rates of summer-spawned bluefish were greater at ocean
Key words: Habitat Preference, Roan Antelope, Seasons. INTRODUCTION. Habitat quality and quantity have been identified as the primary limiting factors that influence animal population dynamics. (Jansen et al., 2001). Habitat influences the presence, abundance, distribution, movement and behavior of game animals.
Lehikoinen, Petteri; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Mikkola-Roos, Markku; Jaatinen, Kim
Human actions have led to loss and degradation of wetlands, impairing their suitability as habitat especially for waterbirds. Such negative effects may be mitigated through habitat management. To date scientific evidence regarding the impacts of these actions remains scarce. We studied guild specific abundances of breeding and staging birds in response to habitat management on 15 Finnish wetlands. In this study management actions comprised several means of vegetation removal to thwart overgrowth. Management cost efficiency was assessed by examining the association between site-specific costs and bird abundances. Several bird guilds exhibited positive connections with both habitat management as well as with invested funds. Most importantly, however, red-listed species and species with special conservation concern as outlined by the EU showed positive correlations with management actions, underlining the conservation value of wetland management. The results suggest that grazing was especially efficient in restoring overgrown wetlands. As a whole this study makes it clear that wetland habitat management constitutes a feasible conservation tool. The marked association between invested funds and bird abundance may prove to be a valuable tool for decision makers when balancing costs and impact of conservation measures against one another.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls and terns, seabirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl for the North Slope of Alaska....
Ottinger, Mary Ann
Avian species show variation in longevity, habitat, physiologic characteristics, and lifetime endocrine patterns. Lifetime reproductive and metabolic function vary. Much is known about the neurobiology of the song system in many altricial birds. Little is known about aging in neural systems in birds. Captive birds often survive beyond the age they would in the wild, providing an opportunity to gain an understanding of the physiologic and neural changes. This paper reviews the available information with the goal of capturing areas of potential investigation into gaps in our understanding of neural aging as reflected in physiologic, endocrine, and cognitive aging. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Feb 25, 2005 ... covers approximately 250ha.The area encompassed by this study extends from Mambrui to the north, the sea to the east, the opposite bank of the estuary to the south and the Sabaki bridge and Malindi-Garsen road to the west. The area is defined as an Important Bird Area(IBA) by BirdLife International in ...
Swen C Renner
Full Text Available Food availability for forest birds is a function of habitat type, forest management regime, and season. In winter, it is also impacted by variations in the weather. In the current study we assessed the food preferences of wild bird populations in two types of forest (spruce and beech during the months of November 2010 to April 2011 in the Schwäbische Alb Biodiversity Exploratory, south-western Germany. Our aim was to investigate whether local bird communities preferred fat-rich, carbohydrate-rich or wild fruits and to determine how forest structure, seasonality and local weather conditions affected food preferences. We found higher bird activity in beech forests for the eleven resident species. We observed a clear preference for fat-rich food for all birds in both forest types. Snow cover affected activity at food stations but did not affect food preferences. Periods of extreme low temperatures increased activity.
We employed reflectance spectrophotometry to quantify color and mineral composition of eggshells from several species of the bird family Charadriidae to characterize species physiology and to distinguish nesting habitat preferences. We used a Shimadzu spectrophotometer to measur...
The study of bird species diversity and richness in Dagona-Waterfowl sanctuary was carried out in early wet and late dry ... conservation of important species that rural inhabitants ... wetland of international importance on waterfowl habitat,.
Susan K. Skagen; Jeffrey F. Kelly; Charles van Riper III; Richard L. Hutto; Deborah M. Finch; David J. Krueper; Cynthia P. Melcher
Migration stopover resources, particularly riparian habitats, are critically important to landbirds migrating across the arid southwestern region of North America. To explore the effects of species biogeography and habitat affinity on spring migration patterns, we synthesized existing bird abundance and capture data collected in riparian habitats of the borderlands...
Jarwadi Budi Hernowo
Full Text Available Batu Ampar mangrove is an important bird habitat especially for birds which have relation to mangrove ecosystem in West Kalimantan. The research was conducted in February to March 2007, at mangrove Batu Ampar demo site. Sampling was done to get representative area for bird survey. The 19 transects were chosen as sampling site to collect bird data such as species and number of individual. Bird surveys were carried out using Reconnaissance method and index point of abundance (IPA count method. The length of each transect was approximately 500 m. The results showed that the bird community's structure dominated by insectivorous birds represented approximately 60 % of total bird's species at mangrove Batu Ampar demo site. The abundance numbers of the individual with the bird's species has relation pattern like J opposite. Percentage of dominant bird species was approximately 11%, those are such as stork billed kingfisher, white-collared kingfisher, common iora, chestnuts-rumped babbler, Strip-Tit Babbler, magpie robin, ashy tailorbird, mangrove blue flycatcher, pied fantail, mangrove whistler, Brown-throated Sunbird and Cooper-Throated Sunbird. Vertical structure of mangrove vegetation was used by birds at mangrove Batu Ampar demo site is mainly B stratum, and it used around 60% birds species. Based on dendrogram analysis there were 5 cluster birds species. The mangrove bird specialists found at sampling area were mangrove blue flycatcher and Cooper throated sunbird.
Yahya, Muhammad S; Syafiq, Muhamad; Ashton-Butt, Adham; Ghazali, Amal; Asmah, Siti; Azhar, Badrul
Monoculture farming is pervasive in industrial oil palm agriculture, including those RSPO plantations certified as sustainably managed. This farming practice does not promote the maintenance of farmland biodiversity. However, little scientific attention has been given to polyculture farming in oil palm production landscapes. Polyculture farming is likely to increase the floristic diversity and stand structural complexity that underpins biodiversity. Mist nets were used to sample birds at 120 smallholdings in Peninsular Malaysia. At each site, 12 vegetation structure characteristics were measured. We compared bird species richness, abundance, and composition between monoculture and polyculture smallholdings and used predictive models to examine the effects of habitat quality on avian biodiversity. Bird species richness was significantly greater in polyculture than that of monoculture smallholdings. The number of fallen and standing, dead oil palms were also important positive predictors of species richness. Bird abundance was also strongly increased by standing and dead oil palms and decreased with oil palm stand height. Our results indicate that polyculture farming can improve bird species richness in oil palm production landscapes. In addition, key habitat variables that are closely associated with farming practices, such as the removal of dead trees, should and can be managed by oil palm growers in order to promote biodiversity. To increase the sustainability of oil palm agriculture, it is imperative that stakeholders modify the way oil palms are currently planted and managed. Our findings can guide policy makers and certification bodies to promote oil palm production landscapes that will function more sustainably and increase existing biodiversity of oil palm landscapes.
Ruth, Janet M.; Diehl, R.H.; Felix, R.K.
In the arid Southwest, migratory birds are known to use riparian stopover habitats; we know less about how migrants use other habitat types during migratory stopover. Using radar data and satellite land-cover data, we determined the habitats with which birds are associated during migration stopover. Bird densities differed significantly by habitat type at all sites in at least one season. In parts of Arizona and New Mexico upland forest supported high densities of migrants, especially in fall. Developed habitat, in areas with little upland forest, also supported high densities of migrants. Scrub/shrub and grassland habitats supported low to intermediate densities, but because these habitat types dominate the Southwestern landscape, they may provide stopover habitat for larger numbers of migratory birds than previously recognized. These results are complicated by continuing challenges related to target identity (i.e., distinguishing among birds, arthropods and bats). Our results suggest that it is too simplistic to (1) consider the arid West as a largely inhospitable landscape in which there are only relatively small oases of habitat that provide the resources needed by all migrants, (2) think of western riparian and upland forests as supporting the majority of migrants in all cases, and (3) consider a particular habitat unimportant for stopover solely on the basis of low densities of migrants.
Full Text Available Sierra de Vallejo, is considered a priority region for conservation, and is strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures. The inventory of birds are refers to studies in near areas. This study is a concrete contribution of the birds of the mountain chain and north of it. We considered bibliographic records and databases available on the web with records of ocurrence and specimens of scientific collections. Also we perform point counts in different localities inside the reserve. We observed a richness of 261 birds species, the family Tyrannidae is the best represented. Of the species recorded, 177 are permanent residents (31 are endemic and 15 are quasi-endemics to Mexico and 73 are migratory; the remaining eleven records have other status. Also 43 species are in endangered categories. We include species that have not been recorded in the lists of the area and records of species expand their ranges at Nayarit. Due to the great diversity of birds observed, it is necesary to continue the research work about habitat use, abundance and monitoring, it will provides the basis for the conservation of birds of Sierra de Vallejo.
Mennechez, Gwénaëlle; Clergeau, Philippe
The small variability of habitat generalist abundances in relation to landscape changes has been related to their behavioural flexibility. We hypothesise that successful generalists, such as the starling, compensate for feeding resource difficulties (poor quality of food, accessibility) in habitats such as urban ecosystems and that its behavioural flexibility allows for similar breeding performance in rural and urban areas. Along an urbanisation gradient we compared simultaneously (1) success factors such as the abundance of breeding starlings, their breeding performance and the fitness of nestlings, and (2) possible flexibility quantified through the rate of parental food-provisioning, and the composition and the amount of food delivered to nestlings. Abundance of breeding starlings are similar throughout the urbanisation gradient, but urbanisation profoundly and negatively affects reproductive parameters of starlings. Differences in the amount of food delivered to nestlings by parents (less food in town centre), and the small masses of nestlings reared in the urban sectors support the idea that urban nestlings received insufficient food loads. Despite modifications to their diurnal food-provisioning rhythm and the incorporation of some human food refuse into their diet, starling parents have a significantly reduced production of young in the urban centre sector. We rebut the idea that the "generalist" starling is able to breed successfully anywhere: other more "specialist" species succeed in producing their young by innovating more in terms of diet resources. We suggest defining successful birds with respect to colonisation or invasion process through behavioural innovation rather than an ambiguous habitat generalist definition.
Kleijn, D.; Schekkerman, H.; Dimmers, W.J.; Van Kats, R.J.M.; Melman, D.; Teunissen, W.A.
Agricultural intensification is one of the main drivers of farmland bird declines, but effects on birds may be confounded with those of climate change. Here we examine the effects of intensification and climate change on a grassland breeding wader, the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l. limosa, in the
Habitat quality is a fundamental driver of species distributions and population outcomes but is often difficult to measure. Further, habitat quality can be abstract, multi-faceted and challenging to compare alongside measures of habitat amount and fragmentation. Consequently, hab...
Jennifer Sorensen Forbey; Gail L. Patricelli; Donna M. Delparte; Alan H. Krakauer; Peter J. Olsoy; Marcella R. Fremgen; Jordan D. Nobler; Lucas P. Spaete; Lisa A. Shipley; Janet L. Rachlow; Amy K. Dirksen; Anna Perry; Bryce A. Richardson; Nancy F. Glenn
An increasing number of threats, both natural (e.g. fires, drought) and anthropogenic (e.g. agriculture, infrastructure development), are likely to affect both availability and quality of plants that grouse rely on for cover and food. As such, there is an increasing need to monitor plants and their use by grouse over space and time to better predict how changes in...
Currently, there is no scientific literature examining appropriate riparian buffer widths for water quality for streams on private agriculturally dominated lands in arid regions of the Intermountain West. The initial step in this research effort was a review of buffer research as documented in the literature in other physiographic regions of the United States. Research...
Winter, H.V.; Teal, L.R.; Wolfshaar, van de K.E.; Griffioen, A.B.; Houben, B.; Breve, N.W.P.
One of the most endangered fish species worldwide is the European sturgeon Acipenser sturio. The River Rhine was home to an important sturgeon population that went locally extinct in the first half of the 20th century. In recent decades, many improvements of the ecological quality of the Rhine have
Levison, Matthew E
Although many people these days actually work very hard at leisure time activities, diseases are most commonly acquired from birds during the course of work in the usual sense of the term, not leisure. However, travel for pleasure to areas where the diseases are highly endemic puts people at risk of acquiring some of these bird-related diseases (for example, histoplasmosis and arbovirus infections), as does ownership of birds as pets (psittacosis).
Railsback, Steven F.; Johnson, Matthew D.
Global increases in both agriculture and biodiversity awareness raise a key question: Should cropland and biodiversity habitat be separated, or integrated in mixed land uses? Ecosystem services by wildlife make this question more complex. For example, birds benefit agriculture by preying on pest insects, but other habitat is needed to maintain the birds. Resulting land use questions include what areas and arrangements of habitat support sufficient birds to control pests, whether this pest control offsets the reduced cropland, and the comparative benefits of “land sharing” (i.e., mixed cropland and habitat) vs. “land sparing” (i.e., separate areas of intensive agriculture and habitat). Such questions are difficult to answer using field studies alone, so we use a simulation model of Jamaican coffee farms, where songbirds suppress the coffee berry borer (CBB). Simulated birds select habitat and prey in five habitat types: intact forest, trees (including forest fragments), shade coffee, sun coffee, and unsuitable habitat. The trees habitat type appears to be especially important, providing efficient foraging and roosting sites near coffee plots. Small areas of trees (but not forest alone) could support a sufficient number of birds to suppress CBB in sun coffee; the degree to which trees are dispersed within coffee had little effect. In simulations without trees, shade coffee supported sufficient birds to offset its lower yield. High areas of both trees and shade coffee reduced pest control because CBB was less often profitable prey. Because of the pest control service provided by birds, land sharing was predicted to be more beneficial than land sparing in this system. PMID:24711377
Railsback, Steven F; Johnson, Matthew D
Global increases in both agriculture and biodiversity awareness raise a key question: Should cropland and biodiversity habitat be separated, or integrated in mixed land uses? Ecosystem services by wildlife make this question more complex. For example, birds benefit agriculture by preying on pest insects, but other habitat is needed to maintain the birds. Resulting land use questions include what areas and arrangements of habitat support sufficient birds to control pests, whether this pest control offsets the reduced cropland, and the comparative benefits of "land sharing" (i.e., mixed cropland and habitat) vs. "land sparing" (i.e., separate areas of intensive agriculture and habitat). Such questions are difficult to answer using field studies alone, so we use a simulation model of Jamaican coffee farms, where songbirds suppress the coffee berry borer (CBB). Simulated birds select habitat and prey in five habitat types: intact forest, trees (including forest fragments), shade coffee, sun coffee, and unsuitable habitat. The trees habitat type appears to be especially important, providing efficient foraging and roosting sites near coffee plots. Small areas of trees (but not forest alone) could support a sufficient number of birds to suppress CBB in sun coffee; the degree to which trees are dispersed within coffee had little effect. In simulations without trees, shade coffee supported sufficient birds to offset its lower yield. High areas of both trees and shade coffee reduced pest control because CBB was less often profitable prey. Because of the pest control service provided by birds, land sharing was predicted to be more beneficial than land sparing in this system.
Delistraty, Damon; Van Verst, Scott
Historical operations at the Hanford Site (Washington State, USA) have released a wide array of non-radionuclide and radionuclide contaminants into the environment. As a result, there is a need to characterize contaminant effects on site biota. Within this framework, the main purpose of our study was to evaluate radionuclide concentrations in bird tissue, obtained from the Hanford Environmental Information System (HEIS). The database was sorted by avian group (water bird vs. upland bird), radionuclide (over 20 analytes), tissue (muscle, bone, liver), location (onsite vs. offsite), and time period (1971-1990 vs. 1991-2009). Onsite median concentrations in water birds were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in onsite upland birds for Cs-137 in muscle (1971-1990) and Sr-90 in bone (1991-2009), perhaps due to behavioral, habitat, or trophic species differences. Onsite median concentrations in water birds were higher (borderline significance with Bonferroni P = 0.05) than those in offsite birds for Cs-137 in muscle (1971-1990). Onsite median concentrations in the earlier time period were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in the later time period for Co-60, Cs-137, Eu-152, and Sr-90 in water bird muscle and for Cs-137 in upland bird muscle tissue. Median concentrations of Sr-90 in bone were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in muscle for both avian groups and both locations. Over the time period, 1971-2009, onsite median internal dose was estimated for each radionuclide in water bird and upland bird tissues. However, a meaningful dose comparison between bird groups was not possible, due to a dissimilar radionuclide inventory, mismatch of time periods for input radionuclides, and lack of an external dose estimate. Despite these limitations, our results contribute toward ongoing efforts to characterize ecological risk at the Hanford Site. - Highlights: → Radionuclides evaluated in bird tissues on the Hanford Site
Delistraty, Damon, E-mail: DDEL461@ecy.wa.gov [Washington State Department of Ecology, N. 4601 Monroe Street, Spokane, WA 99205-1295 (United States); Van Verst, Scott [Washington State Department of Health, Olympia, WA (United States)
Historical operations at the Hanford Site (Washington State, USA) have released a wide array of non-radionuclide and radionuclide contaminants into the environment. As a result, there is a need to characterize contaminant effects on site biota. Within this framework, the main purpose of our study was to evaluate radionuclide concentrations in bird tissue, obtained from the Hanford Environmental Information System (HEIS). The database was sorted by avian group (water bird vs. upland bird), radionuclide (over 20 analytes), tissue (muscle, bone, liver), location (onsite vs. offsite), and time period (1971-1990 vs. 1991-2009). Onsite median concentrations in water birds were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in onsite upland birds for Cs-137 in muscle (1971-1990) and Sr-90 in bone (1991-2009), perhaps due to behavioral, habitat, or trophic species differences. Onsite median concentrations in water birds were higher (borderline significance with Bonferroni P = 0.05) than those in offsite birds for Cs-137 in muscle (1971-1990). Onsite median concentrations in the earlier time period were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in the later time period for Co-60, Cs-137, Eu-152, and Sr-90 in water bird muscle and for Cs-137 in upland bird muscle tissue. Median concentrations of Sr-90 in bone were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in muscle for both avian groups and both locations. Over the time period, 1971-2009, onsite median internal dose was estimated for each radionuclide in water bird and upland bird tissues. However, a meaningful dose comparison between bird groups was not possible, due to a dissimilar radionuclide inventory, mismatch of time periods for input radionuclides, and lack of an external dose estimate. Despite these limitations, our results contribute toward ongoing efforts to characterize ecological risk at the Hanford Site. - Highlights: > Radionuclides evaluated in bird tissues on the Hanford Site
Martin L. Cody
This paper presents data on variations in the breeding densities of birds in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, and evaluates these variations among years, habitats, and as functions of the migratory status of the breeding birds. Breeding opportunities certainly vary with the extremely variable weather conditions in the park year-to-year, and part of the variation in...
These results are discussed in relation to the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and specifically to the South Atlantic Region, where birds...5 Composition of forested areas...isolated nesting habitat in the ocean environment. The island is maintained by the USACE Savannah District, and use of this island by nesting and roosting
Jack C. Capp; David Mehlman
Over five billion birds move each year across the Americas, flying great distances over almost every location and habitat on the continents (Weidensaul 1999). Over 350 of the over 800 bird species in the United States migrate each year to Latin America and the Caribbean (Degraaf and Rappole 1995). Some fly each way over 4000 miles, chasing the seasons across oceans and...
Daniel P. Mummert; Laura Baines; William D. Tietje
Oak woodland habitat is being degraded or replaced by vineyards in many areas of central-coastal California. Oak woodlands are home to many insectivorous, cavity-nesting birds that would be beneficial in and around vineyards. During March to June 2001, we used bluebird nest boxes to study nest box use and productivity of cavity-nesting birds in vineyards versus...
King, James G.; King, Mary Lou
Southeast Alaska's birds and wetlands are the subject of this elementary school teacher's guide and student workbook. Included are classroom activities and field investigations which address: (1) bird identification, habitats, adaptation, and conservation; and (2) the inhabitants, ecology and value of estuaries. Workbook activities involve the…
Cererols, N.; Martinez, A.; Ferrer, M.
This paper shows the conclusions of a 16 month study of the possible impacts on the local and migrating population of birds of a wind farm located in the passageway of migrating birds between Africa and Europe. On the whole, the wind farm did not prove to represent an important impact on the birds present in its surroundings and, on the contrary, created a new habitat for some species not present in adjacent areas. (author)
Hoehn, Amber L.; Hagan, Mark; Bratton, Mark
Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) scheduled the construction of a runway in the spring of 2007. The runway would be in an area that contained migratory birds and their habitat. The construction project would be near Edwards AFB main runway and had the potential not only to impact species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), including the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), but also to increase bird and wildlife–aircraft strike hazards in the active flightline areas. To discourage ...
Full Text Available Low-density residential development (i.e., exurban development is often embedded within a matrix of protected areas and natural amenities, raising concern about its ecological consequences. Forest-dependent species are particularly susceptible to human settlement even at low housing densities typical of exurban areas. However, few studies have examined the response of forest birds to this increasingly common form of land conversion. The aim of this study was to assess whether, how, and at what scale forest birds respond to changes in habitat due to exurban growth. We evaluated changes in habitat composition (amount and configuration (arrangement for forest and forest-edge species around North America Breeding Bird Survey (BBS stops between 1986 and 2009. We used Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis to detect change points in species occurrence at two spatial extents (400-m and 1-km radius buffer. Our results show that exurban development reduced forest cover and increased habitat fragmentation around BBS stops. Forest birds responded nonlinearly to most measures of habitat loss and fragmentation at both the local and landscape extents. However, the strength and even direction of the response changed with the extent for several of the metrics. The majority of forest birds' responses could be predicted by their habitat preferences indicating that management practices in exurban areas might target the maintenance of forested habitats, for example through easements or more focused management for birds within existing or new protected areas.
Wiącek, Jarosław; Polak, Marcin; Filipiuk, Maciej; Kucharczyk, Marek; Bohatkiewicz, Janusz
The construction of railway lines usually has a negative effect on the natural environment: habitats are destroyed, collisions with trains cause deaths, and the noise and vibrations associated with rail traffic disturb the lives of animals. Cases are known, however, where the opposite holds true: a railway line has a positive effect on the fauna in its vicinity. In this study, we attempted to define the influence of a busy railway line on a breeding community of woodland birds. Birds were counted using the point method at 45 observation points located at three different distances (30, 280, 530 m) from the tracks. At each point, we determined the habitat parameters and the intensity of noise. In total, 791 individual birds of 42 species were recorded on the study plot. Even though the noise level fell distinctly with increasing distance from the tracks, the abundance of birds and the number of species were the highest near the railway line. Moreover, insectivorous species displayed a clear preference for the vicinity of the line. The noise from the trains did not adversely affect the birds on the study plot. The environmental conditions created by the edge effect meant that the birds preferred the neighborhood of the tracks: the more diverse habitats near the tracks supplied attractive nesting and foraging niches for many species of birds. Trains passing at clear intervals acted as point sources of noise and did not elicit any negative reactions on the part of the birds; this stands in contrast to busy roads, where the almost continuous flow of traffic in practice constitutes a linear source of noise.
Struck, S.D.; Selvakumar, A.; Hyer, K.; O'Connor, T.
Increased urbanization results in a larger percentage of connected impervious areas and can contribute large quantities of stormwater runoff and significant quantities of debris and pollutants (e.g., litter, oils, microorganisms, sediments, nutrients, organic matter, and heavy metals) to receiving waters. To improve water quality in urban and suburban areas, watershed managers often incorporate best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the quantity of runoff as well as to minimize pollutants and other stressors contained in stormwater runoff. It is well known that land-use practices directly impact urban streams. Stream flows in urbanized watersheds increase in magnitude as a function of impervious area and can result in degradation of the natural stream channel morphology affecting the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the stream. Stream bank erosion, which also increases with increased stream flows, can lead to bank instability, property loss, infrastructure damage, and increased sediment loading to the stream. Increased sediment loads may lead to water quality degradation downstream and have negative impacts on fish, benthic invertebrates, and other aquatic life. Accotink Creek is in the greater Chesapeake Bay and Potomac watersheds, which have strict sediment criteria. The USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) and USGS (United States Geological Survey) are investigating the effectiveness of stream restoration techniques as a BMP to decrease sediment load and improve bank stability, biological integrity, and in-stream water quality in an impaired urban watershed in Fairfax, Virginia. This multi-year project continuously monitors turbidity, specific conductance, pH, and water temperature, as well as biological and chemical water quality parameters. In addition, physical parameters (e.g., pebble counts, longitudinal and cross sectional stream surveys) were measured to assess geomorphic changes associated with the restoration. Data
Stanislav G. Viter
Full Text Available Our study was conducted in 2003–2012 in Eastern Ukraine, in the basin of the Seversky Donets river. The total surveyed area was ca. 900 km2 of nesting habitats suitable for raptors. A total of 69 vacant nests were found, i.e. 33.2 % of the total number of nests (208. Nests occupied by recipient species, i.e. the so-called ‘effective nest pool’, were 23–24, i.e. 33.3–34.7 % of the pool of available nests. Up to 25 % of all pairs of raptors depend on the availability of vacant nests of heterospecifics. Ravens (Corvus corax are the most significant donors of nests: 42.5 % of the pool of available nests is built by this species, and more than 60 % of them are occupied by recipient species. Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo comes second with 26.09 and 58.3 %, respectively. The most common recipients of nests are Hobbies (Falco subbuteo, Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus and Booted Eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus. The most significant factors that govern occupation of vacant nests by recipient species are: availability of nests in the marginal zone of forest plots, i.e. within 500 m from the forest edge, large distance from human settlements (>1500 m, presence of nests located on trees in the canopy storey, and mature and submature age of forest stands. For seven species considered in our research (n=227, the most important factors were position of nests, in the forest canopy layer, no logging activity within300 m of the nest, no regular human disturbance, and presence of “windows” in the canopy made by fallen trees.
Ruiz-Gutierrez, Viviana; Zipkin, Elise F.; Dhondt, Andre A.
1. Worldwide loss of biodiversity necessitates a clear understanding of the factors driving population declines as well as informed predictions about which species and populations are at greatest risk. The biggest threat to the long-term persistence of populations is the reduction and changes in configuration of their natural habitat. 2. Inconsistencies have been noted in the responses of populations to the combined effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. These have been widely attributed to the effects of the matrix habitats in which remnant focal habitats are typically embedded. 3. We quantified the potential effects of the inter-patch matrix by estimating occupancy and colonization of forest and surrounding non-forest matrix (NF). We estimated species-specific parameters using a dynamic, multi-species hierarchical model on a bird community in southwestern Costa Rica. 4. Overall, we found higher probabilities of occupancy and colonization of forest relative to the NF across bird species, including those previously categorized as open habitat generalists not needing forest to persist. Forest dependency was a poor predictor of occupancy dynamics in our study region, largely predicting occupancy and colonization of only non-forest habitats. 5. Our results indicate that the protection of remnant forest habitats is key for the long-term persistence of all members of the bird community in this fragmented landscape, including species typically associated with open, non-forest habitats. 6.Synthesis and applications. We identified 39 bird species of conservation concern defined by having high estimates of forest occupancy, and low estimates of occupancy and colonization of non-forest. These species survive in forest but are unlikely to venture out into open, non-forested habitats, therefore, they are vulnerable to the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. Our hierarchical community-level model can be used to estimate species-specific occupancy dynamics for focal
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for pelagic birds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, gulls, terns, and passerine birds in Guam and the...
Boyle, T.P.; Caziani, S.M.; Waltermire, R.G.
The diverse set of wetlands in southern altiplano of South America supports a number of endemic and migratory waterbirds. These species include endangered endemic flamingos and shorebirds that nest in North America and winter in the altiplano. This research developed maps from nine Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images (254,300 km2) to provide an inventory of aquatic waterbird habitats. Image processing software was used to produce a map with a classification of wetlands according to the habitat requirements of different types of waterbirds. A hierarchical procedure was used to, first, isolate the bodies of water within the TM image; second, execute an unsupervised classification on the subsetted image to produce 300 signatures of cover types, which were further subdivided as necessary. Third, each of the classifications was examined in the light of field data and personal experience for relevance to the determination of the various habitat types. Finally, the signatures were applied to the entire image and other adjacent images to yield a map depicting the location of the various waterbird habitats in the southern altiplano. The data sets referenced with a global positioning system receiver were used to test the classification system. Multivariate analysis of the bird communities censused at each lake by individual habitats indicated a salinity gradient, and then the depth of the water separated the birds. Multivariate analysis of the chemical and physical data from the lakes showed that the variation in lakes were significantly associated with difference in depth, transparency, latitude, elevation, and pH. The presence of gravel bottoms was also one of the qualities distinguishing a group of lakes. This information will be directly useful to the Flamingo Census Project and serve as an element for risk assessment for future development.
Day, John W; Yañéz Arancibia, Alejandro; Mitsch, William J; Lara-Dominguez, Ana Laura; Day, Jason N; Ko, Jae-Young; Lane, Robert; Lindsey, Joel; Lomeli, David Zarate
Human activities are affecting the environment at continental and global scales. An example of this is the Mississippi basin where there has been a large scale loss of wetlands and water quality deterioration over the past century. Wetland and riparian ecosystems have been isolated from rivers and streams. Wetland loss is due both to drainage and reclamation, mainly for agriculture, and to isolation from the river by levees, as in the Mississippi delta. There has been a decline in water quality due to increasing use of fertilizers, enhanced drainage and the loss of wetlands for cleaning water. Water quality has deteriorated throughout the basin and high nitrogen in the Mississippi river is causing a large area of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico adjacent to the Mississippi delta. Since the causes of these problems are distributed over the basin, the solution also needs to be distributed over the basin. Ecotechnology and ecological engineering offer the only ecologically sound and cost-effective method of solving these problems. Wetlands to promote nitrogen removal, mainly through denitrification but also through burial and plant uptake, offer a sound ecotechnological solution. At the level of the Mississippi basin, changes in farming practices and use of wetlands for nitrogen assimilation can reduce nitrogen levels in the River. There are additional benefits of restoration of wetland and riverine ecosystems, flood control, reduction in public health threats, and enhanced wildlife and fisheries. At the local drainage basin level, the use of river diversions in the Mississippi delta can address both problems of coastal land loss and water quality deterioration. Nitrate levels in diverted river water are rapidly reduced as water flows through coastal watersheds. At the local level, wetlands are being used to treat municipal wastewater. This is a cost-effective method, which results in improved water quality, enhanced wetland productivity and increased accretion. The
Fedy, Bradley C.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; O'Donnell, Michael S.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Bedrosian, Bryan; Gummer, David; Holloran, Matthew J.; Johnson, Gregory D.; Kaczor, Nicholas W.; Kirol, Christopher P.; Mandich, Cheryl A.; Marshall, David; McKee, Gwyn; Olson, Chad; Pratt, Aaron C.; Swanson, Christopher C.; Walker, Brett L.
Animal habitat selection is an important and expansive area of research in ecology. In particular, the study of habitat selection is critical in habitat prioritization efforts for species of conservation concern. Landscape planning for species is happening at ever-increasing extents because of the appreciation for the role of landscape-scale patterns in species persistence coupled to improved datasets for species and habitats, and the expanding and intensifying footprint of human land uses on the landscape. We present a large-scale collaborative effort to develop habitat selection models across large landscapes and multiple seasons for prioritizing habitat for a species of conservation concern. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter sage-grouse) occur in western semi-arid landscapes in North America. Range-wide population declines of this species have been documented, and it is currently considered as “warranted but precluded” from listing under the United States Endangered Species Act. Wyoming is predicted to remain a stronghold for sage-grouse populations and contains approximately 37% of remaining birds. We compiled location data from 14 unique radiotelemetry studies (data collected 1994–2010) and habitat data from high-quality, biologically relevant, geographic information system (GIS) layers across Wyoming. We developed habitat selection models for greater sage-grouse across Wyoming for 3 distinct life stages: 1) nesting, 2) summer, and 3) winter. We developed patch and landscape models across 4 extents, producing statewide and regional (southwest, central, northeast) models for Wyoming. Habitat selection varied among regions and seasons, yet preferred habitat attributes generally matched the extensive literature on sage-grouse seasonal habitat requirements. Across seasons and regions, birds preferred areas with greater percentage sagebrush cover and avoided paved roads, agriculture, and forested areas. Birds consistently preferred
Petersen, James C.; Justus, B.G.; Meredith, Bradley J.
The Illinois River Basin includes an area of diverse land use in northwestern Arkansas. Land-use data collected in 2006 indicate that most of the land in the basin is agricultural. The agricultural land is used primarily for production of poultry and cattle. Eighteen sites were selected from the list of candidate sites based on drainage area, land use, presence or absence of an upstream wastewater-treatment plant, water quality, and other information gathered during the reconnaissance. An important consideration in the process was to select sites along gradients of forest to urban land use and forest to agricultural land use. Water-quality samples were collected for analysis of nutrients, and a multiparameter field meter was used to measure water temperature, specific conductance, pH, and dissolved oxygen. Streamflow was measured immediately following the water-quality sampling. Macroalgae coverage was estimated and periphyton, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities were sampled at each site. Stream habitat also was assessed. Many types of land-use, water-quality, and habitat factors affected one or more aspects of the biological communities. Several macroinvertebrate and fish metrics changed in response to changes in percent forest; sites that would be considered most disturbed, based on these metrics, are sites with the highest percentages of urban land use in their associated basins. The presence of large mats of macroalgae was one of the most noticeable biological characteristics in several streams within the Illinois River Basin. The highest macroalgae percent cover values were recorded at four sites downstream from wastewater-treatment plants. Macroalgae percent cover was strongly correlated only with bed substrate size, canopy closure, and specific conductance. Periphyton metrics were most often and most strongly correlated with riparian shading, specific conductance, substrate turbidity, percent agriculture, poultry house density, and unpaved road density
De Wan, A. A.; Sullivan, P.J.; Lembo, A.J.; Smith, C.R.; Maerz, J.C.; Lassoie, J.P.; Richmond, M.E.
As urban development continues to encroach on the natural and rural landscape, land-use planners struggle to identify high priority conservation areas for protection. Although knowing where urban-sensitive species may be occurring on the landscape would facilitate conservation planning, research efforts are often not sufficiently designed to make quality predictions at unknown locations. Recent advances in occupancy modeling allow for more precise estimates of occupancy by accounting for differences in detectability. We applied these techniques to produce robust estimates of habitat occupancy for a subset of forest breeding birds, a group that has been shown to be sensitive to urbanization, in a rapidly urbanizing yet biological diverse region of New York State. We found that detection probability ranged widely across species, from 0.05 to 0.8. Our models suggest that detection probability declined with increasing forest fragmentation. We also found that the probability of occupancy of forest breeding birds is negatively influenced by increasing perimeter-area ratio of forest fragments and urbanization in the surrounding habitat matrix. We capitalized on our random sampling design to produce spatially explicit models that predict high priority conservation areas across the entire region, where interior-species were most likely to occur. Finally, we use our predictive maps to demonstrate how a strict sampling design coupled with occupancy modeling can be a valuable tool for prioritizing biodiversity conservation in land-use planning. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
Deborah M.; Peter W. Stangel
The future for neotropical migratory birds rests with our commitment and ability to provide them adequate habitat during all periods of their life cycle. Our commitment to this cause is apparent in the groundswell of interest in neotropical migrants and the many proactive and coopemtive partnerships resulting from the Partners in Flight - Aves de las Americas...
C. John Ralph; Jared D. Wolfe
So how does your banding effort fit into the new paradigm of climate science? A little background: many bird populations underwent mass declines during the 19th century from a variety of causes including hunting and habitat change. Current human-induced climate change represents a new and fast-acting pressure that is inherently more difficult to curtail and may drive...
Pecor, Keith W.; Lake, Ellen C.; Wund, Matthew A.
Optimal foraging theory attempts to explain the foraging patterns observed in animals, including their choice of particular food items and foraging locations. We describe three experiments designed to test hypotheses about food choice and foraging habitat preference using bird feeders. These experiments can be used alone or in combination and can…
Scott K. Robinson; Frank R. Thompson III; Therese M. Donovan; Donald R. Whitehead; John Faaborg
Forest fragmentation, the disruption in the continuity of forest habitat, is hypothesized to be a major cause of population decline for, some species of forest birds because fragmentation reduces nesting (reproductive) success. Nest predation and parasitism by cowbirds increased with forest fragmentation in nine midwestern (United States)landscapes that varied from 6...
Sidney A. Gauthreaux; Carroll G. Belser
It is possible to study with surveillance radar the movements of migrating birds in the atmosphere at different spatial scales. At a spatial scale within a range of 6 kilometers, high-resolution, 3-centimeter wavelength surveillance radar (e.g. BIRDRAD) can detect the departure of migrants from different types of habitat within a few kilometers of the radar. The radar...
Caughlin, Trevor; Wheeler, Jessica H; Jankowski, Jill; Lichstein, Jeremy W
Propagule pressure can determine the success or failure of invasive plant range expansion. Range expansion takes place at large spatial scales, often encompassing many types of land cover, yet the effect of landscape context on propagule pressure remains largely unknown. Many studies have reported a positive correlation between invasive plant abundance and human land use; increased propagule pressure in these landscapes may be responsible for this correlation. We tested the hypothesis that increased rates of seed dispersal by fig-eating birds, which are more common in urban habitats, result in an increase in invasive strangler fig abundance in landscapes dominated by human land use. We quantified abundance of an invasive species (Ficus microcarpa) and a native species (F. aurea) of strangler fig in plots spanning the entire range of human land use in South Florida, USA, from urban parking lots to native forest. We then compared models that predicted juvenile fig abundance based on distance to adult fig seed sources and fig-eating bird habitat quality with models that lacked one or both of these terms. The best model for juvenile invasive fig abundance included both distance to adult and fig-eating bird habitat terms, suggesting that landscape effects on invasive fig abundance are mediated by seed-dispersing birds. In contrast, the best model for juvenile native fig abundance included only presence/absence of adults, suggesting that distance from individual adult trees may have less effect on seed limitation for a native species compared to an invasive species undergoing range expansion. However, models for both species included significant effects of adult seed sources, implying that juvenile abundance is limited by seed arrival. This result was corroborated by a seed addition experiment that indicated that both native and invasive strangler figs were strongly seed limited. Understanding how landscape context affects the mechanisms of plant invasion may lead to
Bird flu (avian influenza) Overview Bird flu is caused by a type of influenza virus that rarely infects humans. More than a ... for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that seasonal influenza is responsible for ... heat destroys avian viruses, cooked poultry isn't a health threat. ...
Solov'yov, Ilia; Greiner, Walter
The Earth's magnetic field provides an important source of directional information for many living organisms, especially birds, but the sensory receptor responsible for magnetic field detection still has to be identified. Recently, magnetic iron oxide particles were detected in dendritic endings...... field, by a bird....
Solov'yov, Ilia; Schulten, Klaus
A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye.......A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye....
Morgan, M.R.; Norment, C.; Runge, M.C.
Declining populations of grassland breeding birds have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality is breeding success, which is challenging to determine for many cryptic-nesting grassland birds. This difficulty led Vickery et al. (1992) to propose a reproductive index based on behavioral observations rather than nest fate. We rigorously evaluated the index for 2 years using a Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) population in western New York and found a weak correlation in classification of the breeding stages of monitored territories among multiple observers (r = 0.398). We also discovered a large difference between overall territory and nest success rates independently estimated with the index (9.8% over the entire breeding cycle) and with nest searching and monitoring (41.7% of nests successfully fledged young). Most importantly, we made territory-level comparisons of index estimates with actual nest fate and found that the index correctly predicted fates for only 43% of the monitored nests. A Mayfield logistic regression analysis demonstrated that only index rank 4 (eggs hatched, but young failed to fledge) showed a strong positive correlation with nest success. Although the reproductive index may function as a coarse indicator of habitat suitability (e.g., documenting production in potential ecological traps), in our study the index exhibited neither internal consistency nor the ability to predict nest fate at the plot or territory level and functioned poorly as a substitute for nest searching and monitoring. ?? 2010 The American Ornithologists' Union.
Michelle A. Jusino; Daniel Lindner; John K. Cianchetti; Adam T. Grisé; Nicholas J. Brazee; Jeffrey R. Walters
Relationships among cavity-nesting birds, trees, and wood decay fungi pose interesting management challenges and research questions in many systems. Ornithologists need to understand the relationships between cavity-nesting birds and fungi in order to understand the habitat requirements of these birds. Typically, researchers rely on fruiting body surveys to identify...
Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Clausen, Preben; Fox, Anthony David
and alert than birds feeding in aquatic areas, and also spent much less time roosting. Frequency of disturbance was found to be higher in terrestrial habitats compared to aquatic habitats. These stress-related behavioural differences between habitats highlight the vulnerability of the species associated...... with adapting to different food sources. Combining time-budgets with activity-specific BMR-multiplicators showed that activity-based metabolic rates ranged from 1.7 to 2.7 × BMR within habitats exploited by Brent Geese, and emphasized that aquatic areas represent the energetically least expensive foraging...... habitat for these birds. This is largely the result of habitat-specific variation in time spent flying. These findings underline the importance of measuring habitat-specific behaviour and disturbance when studying avian energetics, and demonstrate the risk of uncritically using allometric relationships...
Diakou, Anastasia; Pedroso Couto Soares, José Bernardo; Alivizatos, Haralambos; Panagiotopoulou, Maria; Kazantzidis, Savas; Literák, Ivan; Sychra, Oldřich
Greece represents an important area for wild birds due to its geographical position and habitat diversity. Although the bird species in Greece are well recorded, the information about the chewing lice that infest them is practically non-existent. Thus, the aim of the present study was to record the species of lice infesting wild birds in northern Greece and furthermore, to associate the infestation prevalence with factors such as the age, sex, migration and social behaviour of the host as well as the time of the year. In total 729 birds, (belonging to 9 orders, 32 families and 68 species) were examined in 7 localities of northern Greece, during 9 ringing sessions from June 2013 until October 2015. Eighty (11%) of the birds were found to be infested with lice. In 31 different bird species, 560 specimens of lice, belonging to 33 species were recorded. Mixed infestations were recorded in 11 cases where birds were infested with 2-3 different lice species. Four new host-parasite associations were recorded i.e. Menacanthus curuccae from Acrocephalus melanopogon, Menacanthus agilis from Cettia cetti, Myrsidea sp. from Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, and Philopretus citrinellae from Spinus spinus. Moreover, Menacanthus sinuatus was detected on Poecile lugubris, rendering this report the first record of louse infestation in this bird species. The statistical analysis of the data collected showed no association between parasitological parameters (prevalence, mean and median intensity and mean abundance) in two different periods of the year (breeding vs post-breeding season). However, there was a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of infestation between a) migrating and sedentary passerine birds (7.4% vs 13.2%), b) colonial and territorial birds (54.5% vs 9.6%), and c) female and male birds in breeding period (2.6% vs 15.6%). Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
The International Space Station (ISS) will soon have a platform for conducting fundamental research of Large Plants. Plant Habitat (PH) is designed to be a fully controllable environment for high-quality plant physiological research. PH will control light quality, level, and timing, temperature, CO2, relative humidity, and irrigation, while scrubbing ethylene. Additional capabilities include leaf temperature and root zone moisture and oxygen sensing. The light cap will have red (630 nm), blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), far red (730 nm) and broad spectrum white LEDs. There will be several internal cameras (visible and IR) to monitor and record plant growth and operations.
Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.
Information on the habitat requirements and effects of habitat management on grassland birds were summarized from information in more than 5,500 published and unpublished papers. A range map is provided to indicate the relative densities of the species in North America, based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Although birds frequently are observed outside the breeding range indicated, the maps are intended to show areas where managers might concentrate their attention. It may be ineffectual to manage habitat at a site for a species that rarely occurs in an area. The species account begins with a brief capsule statement, which provides the fundamental components or keys to management for the species. A section on breeding range outlines the current breeding distribution of the species in North America, including areas that could not be mapped using BBS data. The suitable habitat section describes the breeding habitat and occasionally microhabitat characteristics of the species, especially those habitats that occur in the Great Plains. Details on habitat and microhabitat requirements often provide clues to how a species will respond to a particular management practice. A table near the end of the account complements the section on suitable habitat, and lists the specific habitat characteristics for the species by individual studies. A special section on prey habitat is included for those predatory species that have more specific prey requirements. The area requirements section provides details on territory and home range sizes, minimum area requirements, and the effects of patch size, edges, and other landscape and habitat features on abundance and productivity. It may be futile to manage a small block of suitable habitat for a species that has minimum area requirements that are larger than the area being managed. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is an obligate brood parasite of many grassland birds. The section on cowbird brood parasitism summarizes rates
Richard N. Conner; Daniel Saenz; D. Brent Burt
During spring and early summer, shrub- and herbaceous-level vegetation provides nesting and foraging habitat for many shrub-habitat birds. We examined relationships among arthropod biomass and abundance, foliage leaf surface area and weight, vegetation ground cover, soil characteristics, relative humidity, and temperature to evaluate what factors may influence...
MAURICIO N. GODOI
Full Text Available ABSTRACT The informations of bird species distribution in different habitats and the structure of their communities are crucial for bird conservation. We tested the differences in composition, richness and abundance of birds in different phytophysiognomies at Bodoquena Mountains, western Brazil, and we demonstrated the variations in richness and abundance of birds between different trophic groups. Sampling was conducted between July 2011 and June 2012 in 200 point counts arranged in the study area. A total of 3350 contacts were obtained belonging to 156 bird species. Woodland savannas, seasonal forests and arboreal savannas had higher bird abundance and richness, while riparian forests, clean pastures and dirty pastures had smaller values of these parameters. The bird community was organized according to local vegetational gradient, with communities of forests, open areas and savannas, although many species occurred in more than one vegetation type. The insectivorous, omnivorous, frugivorous and gramnivorous birds composed most of the community. These data showed how important environmental heterogeneity is to bird communities. Furthermore, the presence of extensive patches of natural habitats, the small distance between these patches and the permeability of pastures, with high arboreal and shrubby cover, are indicated as important factors to maintain the bird diversity.
Ahmed, Sadia E.; Lees, Alexander C.; Moura, Nárgila G.; Gardner, Toby A.; Barlow, Jos; Ferreira, Joice; Ewers, Robert M.
Road building can lead to significant deleterious impacts on biodiversity, varying from direct road-kill mortality and direct habitat loss associated with road construction, to more subtle indirect impacts from edge effects and fragmentation. However, little work has been done to evaluate the specific effects of road networks and biodiversity loss beyond the more generalized effects of habitat loss. Here, we compared forest bird species richness and composition in the municipalities of Santarém and Belterra in Pará state, eastern Brazilian Amazon, with a road network metric called ‘roadless volume (RV)’ at the scale of small hydrological catchments (averaging 3721 ha). We found a significant positive relationship between RV and both forest bird richness and the average number of unique species (species represented by a single record) recorded at each site. Forest bird community composition was also significantly affected by RV. Moreover, there was no significant correlation between RV and forest cover, suggesting that road networks may impact biodiversity independently of changes in forest cover. However, variance partitioning analysis indicated that RV has partially independent and therefore additive effects, suggesting that RV and forest cover are best used in a complementary manner to investigate changes in biodiversity. Road impacts on avian species richness and composition independent of habitat loss may result from road-dependent habitat disturbance and fragmentation effects that are not captured by total percentage habitat cover, such as selective logging, fire, hunting, traffic disturbance, edge effects and road-induced fragmentation. PMID:25274363
Chazdon, Robin L; Chao, Anne; Colwell, Robert K
in second-growth (SG) and old-growth (OG) rain forests in the Caribbean lowlands of northeastern Costa Rica. We evaluate the multinomial model in detail for the tree data set. Our results for birds were highly concordant with a previous nonstatistical classification, but our method classified a higher......: (1) generalist; (2) habitat A specialist; (3) habitat B specialist; and (4) too rare to classify with confidence. We illustrate our multinomial classification method using two contrasting data sets: (1) bird abundance in woodland and heath habitats in southeastern Australia and (2) tree abundance...... fraction (57.7%) of bird species with statistical confidence. Based on a conservative specialization threshold and adjustment for multiple comparisons, 64.4% of tree species in the full sample were too rare to classify with confidence. Among the species classified, OG specialists constituted the largest...
Full Text Available In highly seasonal tropical environments, temporal changes in habitat and resources are a significant determinant of the spatial distribution of species. This study disentangles the effects of spatial and mid to long-term temporal heterogeneity in habitat on the diversity and abundance of savanna birds by testing four competing conceptual models of varying complexity. Focussing on sites in northeast Australia over a 20 year time period, we used ground cover and foliage projected cover surfaces derived from a time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery, rainfall data and site-level vegetation surveys to derive measures of habitat structure at local (1-100 ha and landscape (100-1000s ha scales. We used generalised linear models and an information theoretic approach to test the independent effects of spatial and temporal influences on savanna bird diversity and the abundance of eight species with different life-history behaviours. Of four competing models defining influences on assemblages of savanna birds, the most parsimonious included temporal and spatial variability in vegetation cover and site-scale vegetation structure, suggesting savanna bird species respond to spatial and temporal habitat heterogeneity at both the broader landscape scale and at the fine-scale. The relative weight, strength and direction of the explanatory variables changed with each of the eight species, reflecting their different ecology and behavioural traits. This study demonstrates that variations in the spatial pattern of savanna vegetation over periods of 10 to 20 years at the local and landscape scale strongly affect bird diversity and abundance. Thus, it is essential to monitor and manage both spatial and temporal variability in avian habitat to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes.
Price, Bronwyn; McAlpine, Clive A; Kutt, Alex S; Ward, Doug; Phinn, Stuart R; Ludwig, John A
In highly seasonal tropical environments, temporal changes in habitat and resources are a significant determinant of the spatial distribution of species. This study disentangles the effects of spatial and mid to long-term temporal heterogeneity in habitat on the diversity and abundance of savanna birds by testing four competing conceptual models of varying complexity. Focussing on sites in northeast Australia over a 20 year time period, we used ground cover and foliage projected cover surfaces derived from a time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery, rainfall data and site-level vegetation surveys to derive measures of habitat structure at local (1-100 ha) and landscape (100-1000s ha) scales. We used generalised linear models and an information theoretic approach to test the independent effects of spatial and temporal influences on savanna bird diversity and the abundance of eight species with different life-history behaviours. Of four competing models defining influences on assemblages of savanna birds, the most parsimonious included temporal and spatial variability in vegetation cover and site-scale vegetation structure, suggesting savanna bird species respond to spatial and temporal habitat heterogeneity at both the broader landscape scale and at the fine-scale. The relative weight, strength and direction of the explanatory variables changed with each of the eight species, reflecting their different ecology and behavioural traits. This study demonstrates that variations in the spatial pattern of savanna vegetation over periods of 10 to 20 years at the local and landscape scale strongly affect bird diversity and abundance. Thus, it is essential to monitor and manage both spatial and temporal variability in avian habitat to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes.
Full Text Available Recent studies have shown that wild birds breeding in acidified areas have difficulties with obtaining sufficient calcium for their eggshells, and that the cause of it is the shortage of land snails. Many birds have to search for Ca-rich snail shells on a daily basis during egg production. Molluscs depend on litter calcium, which has decreased due to acidification of the environment. Calcium limitation may be a widespread phenomenon also in non-acidified, naturally Ca-poor areas. The problem is that while in the latter areas the time for development of specific adaptations may have been sufficient, then in acidified areas, on the contrary, calcium shortage is a recent phenomenon. Therefore, since the extent of calcium limitation in non-acidified areas is hard to derive from observational data, experimental approach is needed. We provide experimental evidence that specific calcium deficit does affect reproductive traits also in the birds breeding in naturally base-poor habitats. Our study was conducted in a heterogeneous woodland area in Estonia containing deciduous forest patches as well as base-poor pine forest with low snail abundance. Ca supplementation, using snail shell and chicken eggshell fragments, was carried out for pied flycatchers and great tits. Extra calcium affected positively several reproductive traits like egg volume and eggshell thickness, start of breeding, and fledglings parameters. The negative relationship between calcium availability and lay-date suggests that birds adjust their breeding tactics to conditions of Ca deficiency, for example, by postponing laying.
Feldhaus, J.W.; Heppell, S.A.; Li, H.; Mesa, M.G.
We examined tissue-specific levels of heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) and whole body lipid levels in juvenile redband trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri) from the South Fork of the John Day River (SFJD), Oregon, with the goal of determining if these measures could be used as physiological indicators of thermal habitat quality for juvenile redband trout. Our objectives were to determine the hsp70 induction temperature in liver, fin, and white muscle tissue and characterize the relation between whole body lipids and hsp70 for fish in the SFJD. We found significant increases in hsp70 levels between 19 and 22??C in fin, liver, and white muscle tissue. Maximum hsp70 levels in liver, fin, and white muscle tissue occurred when mean weekly maximum temperatures (MWMT) exceeded 20-22??C. In general, the estimated hsp70 induction temperature for fin and white muscle tissue was higher than liver tissue. Whole body lipid levels began to decrease when MWMT exceeded 20. 4??C. There was a significant interaction between temperature and hsp70 in fin and white muscle tissue, but not liver tissue. Collectively, these results suggest that increased hsp70 levels in juvenile redband trout are symptomatic of thermal stress, and that energy storage capacity decreases with this stress. The possible decrease in growth potential and fitness for thermally stressed individuals emphasizes the physiological justification for thermal management criteria in salmon-bearing streams. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.
Full Text Available We conducted a bird survey in the Sabaragamuwa University premises in southeastern Sri Lanka between 2001 and 2004. We recorded 145 bird species, representing 17 orders and 51 families from the campus. The birdlife included Red-faced Malkoha, a globally Vulnerable species and four Near Threatened taxa. The university premises suffer from severe habitat alteration largely owing to fire, filling-up of aquatic habitats, resource over-extraction, improper waste management, invasion by exotic species and livestock grazing. Several conservation measures, including habitat management strategies such as restoration of riparian vegetation, and wetlands, increasing plant diversity in home gardens and prevention of secondary successions in grasslands are recommended to protect the campus environment and to conserve its avifaunal diversity.
Robert A Askins
Full Text Available Powerline rights-of-way (ROWs often provide habitat for early successional bird species that have suffered long-term population declines in eastern North America. To determine how the abundance of shrubland birds varies with habitat within ROW corridors and with land use patterns surrounding corridors, we ran Poisson regression models on data from 93 plots on ROWs and compared regression coefficients. We also determined nest success rates on a 1-km stretch of ROW. Seven species of shrubland birds were common in powerline corridors. However, the nest success rates for prairie warbler (Dendroica discolor and field sparrow (Spizella pusilla were <21%, which is too low to compensate for estimated annual mortality. Some shrubland bird species were more abundant on narrower ROWs or at sites with lower vegetation or particular types of vegetation, indicating that vegetation management could be refined to favor species of high conservation priority. Also, several species were more abundant in ROWs traversing unfragmented forest than those near residential areas or farmland, indicating that corridors in heavily forested regions may provide better habitat for these species. In the area where we monitored nests, brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater occurred more frequently close to a residential area. Although ROWs support dense populations of shrubland birds, those in more heavily developed landscapes may constitute sink habitat. ROWs in extensive forests may contribute more to sustaining populations of early successional birds, and thus may be the best targets for habitat management.
Morgan, K.H.; Butler, R.W.; Vermeer, R.W.
Loss of habitat and oiling of birds represent two major threats to marine and shoreline bird populations on Vancouver Island's west coast, since their effects are widespread and cumulative. Offshore tanker traffic and local inshore shipments of petroleum products expose the coast to high risks of oiling. Large numbers of birds are most at risk when concentrated in relatively small areas, such as highly productive feeding areas, at communal roosting sites, and around nesting colonies. Logging of mature and old-growth forests has led to destruction of the nesting habitat of marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus), while industrial development of estuaries, mudflats, and spawning grounds of Pacific herring (Clupea harengus pallasi) has diminished feeding habitats for other marine and shoreline birds. Fisheries operations, human disturbance of colonies, and introduced predators, notably the raccoon (Procyon lotor) and mink (Mustela vison), have impacted upon local populations. Management actions and research needs to mitigate these threats are addressed. 40 refs
Full Text Available Our ideas are based on the following assumptions. Egg as a standalone system is formed within another system, which is the body of the female. Both systems are implemented on the basis of a common genetic code. In this regard, for example, the dendrogram constructed by morphological criteria eggs should be approximately equal to those constructed by other molecular or morphological criteria adult birds. It should be noted that the dendrogram show only the degree of genetic similarity of taxa, therefore, the identity of materials depends on the number of analyzed criteria and their quality, ie, they should be the backbone. The greater the number of system-features will be included in the analysis and in one other case, the like are dendrogram. In other cases, we will have a fragmentary similarity, which is also very important when dealing with controversial issues. The main message of our research was to figure out the eligibility of usage the morphological characteristics of eggs as additional information in taxonomy and phylogeny of birds. Our studies show that the shape parameters of bird eggs show a stable attachment to certain types of birds and complex traits are species-specific. Dendrogram and diagrams built by the quantitative value of these signs, exhibit significant similarity with the dendrogram constructed by morphological, comparative anatomy, paleontology and molecular criteria for adult birds. This suggests the possibility of using morphological parameters eggs as additional information in dealing with taxonomy and phylogeny of birds.
This one-day seminar was intended to provide a forum for information exchange and discussion between those concerned with the potential effects of wind turbines on bird life and to produce recommendations that would be helpful in future wind power developments, environmental impact assessments and related research activities. The six papers presented cover the following topics: impacts, mitigation and monitoring of collisions, disturbance in the construction phase and habitat loss; bird protection and the law with particular reference to the burden of proof required from developers in a planning context in the United Kingdom; continuing studies on the birds of Blyth Harbour in the UK where nine 300kW wind turbines are mounted on a pier jutting out into the sea; an overview of European and American experience; the policy and experience of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; wind farm design in the light of previous experience. The discussion arising out of each paper is summarised. (UK)
Full Text Available Avifaunal survey carried out from December 2006 to September 2007 in Araku Valley, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, revealed the presence of a total of 147 species of birds belonging to 43 families. One-hundred-twelve species of birds in Araku Valley were resident breeders, 23 species winter visitors, nine species local migrants, two species passage migrants and one species summer visitor. Many bird species were seen in more than one habitat for nesting, roosting and foraging. The dominant feeding guild of birds was insectivorous. Four globally threatened species, namely, the Purple Wood-Pigeon Columba punicea Blyth, 1842, the Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga Pallas, 1811, the Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni Fleischer, 1818 and the Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus (S.G. Gmelin, 1770, were recorded during the survey from the area
This bachelor thesis is about hatching synchrony in birds. Generally, among birds there are two types of hatching - asynchronous and synchronous- and the type of hatching is primarily determined by the time of the onset of incubation. In many bird species, including most precocial ones, incubation does not begin until the last egg has been laid, which results in hatching of all the eggs within a few hours. In synchronously-hatched broods, all the chicks are about the same age. Thus no single ...
Protocols for collection of streamflow, water-quality, streambed-sediment, periphyton, macroinvertebrate, fish, and habitat data to describe stream quality for the Hydrobiological Monitoring Program, Equus Beds Aquifer Storage and Recovery Program, city of Wichita, Kansas
Stone, Mandy L.; Rasmussen, Teresa J.; Bennett, Trudy J.; Poulton, Barry C.; Ziegler, Andrew C.
The city of Wichita, Kansas uses the Equus Beds aquifer, one of two sources, for municipal water supply. To meet future water needs, plans for artificial recharge of the aquifer have been implemented in several phases. Phase I of the Equus Beds Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Program began with injection of water from the Little Arkansas River into the aquifer for storage and subsequent recovery in 2006. Construction of a river intake structure and surface-water treatment plant began as implementation of Phase II of the Equus Beds ASR Program in 2010. An important aspect of the ASR Program is the monitoring of water quality and the effects of recharge activities on stream conditions. Physical, chemical, and biological data provide the basis for an integrated assessment of stream quality. This report describes protocols for collecting streamflow, water-quality, streambed-sediment, periphyton, macroinvertebrate, fish, and habitat data as part of the city of Wichita's hydrobiological monitoring program (HBMP). Following consistent and reliable methods for data collection and processing is imperative for the long-term success of the monitoring program.
David M Watson
Full Text Available Insectivorous birds have been recognized as disproportionately sensitive to land-use intensification and habitat loss, with those species feeding primarily on the ground exhibiting some of the most dramatic declines. Altered litter inputs and availability of epigeic arthropods have been suggested to underlie reduced abundances and shrinking distributions but direct evidence is lacking. I used a patch-scale removal experiment in southern Australia to evaluate whether ground-feeding insectivores are especially vulnerable to altered litter-fall. Building on work demonstrating the importance of mistletoe litter to nutrient dynamics, litter was reduced by removing mistletoe (Loranthaceae from one set of eucalypt woodlands, responses of birds three years after mistletoe removal compared with otherwise similar control woodlands containing mistletoe. Despite not feeding on mistletoes directly, insectivores exhibited the greatest response to mistletoe removal. Among woodland residents, ground-foraging insectivores showed the most dramatic response; treatment woodlands losing an average of 37.4% of their pre-treatment species richness. Once these 19 species of ground-foraging insectivores were excluded, remaining woodland species showed no significant effect of mistletoe removal. This response reflects greater initial losses in treatment woodlands during the study (which coincided with a severe drought and double the number of species returning to control woodlands (where mistletoe numbers and litter were not manipulated post-drought. These findings support the productivity-based explanation of declining insectivores, suggesting diminished litter-fall reduced habitat quality for these birds via decreased availability of their preferred prey. In addition to altered prey availability, interactions between litter-fall and epigeic arthropods exemplify the importance of below-ground / above-ground linkages driving ecosystem function.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A recent breakthrough in MWIR detector design, has resulted in a high operating temperature (HOT) barrier infrared detector (BIRD) that is capable of spectral...
de Matos, Ricardo
Calcium is one of the most important plasma constituents in mammals and birds. It provides structural strength and support (bones and eggshell) and plays vital roles in many of the biochemical reactions in the body. The control of calcium metabolism in birds is highly efficient and closely regulated in a number of tissues, primarily parathyroid gland, intestine, kidney, and bone. The hormones with the greatest involvement in calcium regulation in birds are parathyroid hormone, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (calcitriol), and estrogen, with calcitonin playing a minor and uncertain role. The special characteristics of calcium metabolism in birds, mainly associated with egg production, are discussed, along with common clinical disorders secondary to derangements in calcium homeostasis.
Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Balmford, Andrew
1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... and applications.?Good surrogates of biodiversity are necessary to help identify conservation areas that will be effective in preventing species extinctions. Birds perform fairly well as surrogates in cases where birds are relatively speciose, but overall effectiveness will be improved by adding additional data...... from other taxa, in particular from range-restricted species. Conservation solutions with focus on birds as biodiversity surrogate could therefore benefit from also incorporating species data from other taxa....
In this article, the author describes a watercolor art lesson on Audubon birds. She also discusses how science, technology, writing skills, and the elements and principles of art can be incorporated into the lesson.
All over the nation, birds of all shapes and sizes attempt to make schools a their favorite hangout. Their arrival can lead to sanitation issues, added facility degradation, distracted students and health problems.
California Natural Resource Agency — This data set provides access to information gathered on annual breeding bird surveys in California using a map layer developed by the Department. This data layer...
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The data are maintained by the USGS (https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/RawData/) and provides information on the trends and status of North American bird populations...
Hill, Simeon L; Phillips, Tony; Atkinson, Angus
Antarctic krill is a cold water species, an increasingly important fishery resource and a major prey item for many fish, birds and mammals in the Southern Ocean. The fishery and the summer foraging sites of many of these predators are concentrated between 0° and 90°W. Parts of this quadrant have experienced recent localised sea surface warming of u