Date Approved

2006

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Committee Member

Peter Bednekoff, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Gary Hannan, PhD

Committee Member

Cara Shillington, PhD

Abstract

This study assessed the influence of woodlot area and matrix composition on bird species richness and individual abundance. Bird surveys were conducted in winter 2004 and 2005 and spring 2005. Woodlot area and landscape composition were analyzed using GIS software. In winter, resident species richness and abundance increased as landscape diversity increased, whereas in spring, resident species richness decreased with increased landscape openness and abundance increased as woodlot area increased. Spring migrant species richness increased with increased landscape openness, and abundance decreased as woodlot area increased. In winter, Tufted Titmice were more likely to be present in smaller woodlots, whereas in spring, they were somewhat more common in larger woodlots. Tufted Titmouse may exploit the habitat structure of smaller woodlots in fragmented landscapes to increase access to foraging habitat. Conservation strategies that reduce fragmentation and promote greater habitat diversity may lead to greater bird species diversity and abundance.

Comments

Additional committee member: Michael Kielb, MS

Included in

Biology Commons

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