Using changes in land use and land cover to predict avian species occurrences at

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2008-01-01
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Lebrun, Jaymi
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James R. Miller
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Natural Resource Ecology and Management
The Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management is dedicated to the understanding, effective management, and sustainable use of our renewable natural resources through the land-grant missions of teaching, research, and extension.
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Abstract

Open-canopy oak forests not cleared for agriculture rapidly shift to closed-canopy

forests. These changes have produced feedback loops that increasingly favor shade-tolerant

tree species over fire-adapted species. Studies observing changes from oak-to mapledominated

forests have found decreased avian species richness and abundance. The primary

goal of this study was to examine changes in forest bird communities over a relatively short

period of time, and assess these changes in light of habitat alterations during this same

period. We specifically used recent survey data to predict forest bird occurrences. Point

counts were conducted during the breeding season in 2006-07 at 49 survey stations that had

been surveyed in 1995-96. Local-habitat variables were measured within 50-m and land

cover and land use variables were digitized (200-m, 1-km, and 6-km) for each period.

Single-species logistic and autologistic models were created using the 1995-96 dataset.

Using the 2006-07 dataset, models were evaluated using receiver operating characteristic

(ROC) curves. Predictive models performed best for species associated with open habitats

and dense understories, suggesting that we have a relatively good understanding of their

habitat requirements. The inclusion of variables measured at relatively fine scales suggests

that relying on remotely sensed imagery alone will not be sufficient to make predictions on

species occurrences at the scales we studied.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2008