Multi-Scale Breeding Bird and Land-cover Associations

Butler, J. Russell
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Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science
The association patterns between breeding bird diversity and amount of different land cover types at five spatial scales were analyzed. Breeding bird surveys were conducted at 2,021 randomly selected roadside locations in a 500,000 ha area of north-central Tennessee. The land cover of the area was classified from satellite imagery. Both bird and land cover data were separated into relevant groups: birds into migration guilds, and land cover into natural and artificial types. The study area was subdivided into geographic blocks ranging from 36 to 62,000 ha. Study-area richness-distribution maps for each migration guild were created. The multiscale association patterns between bird species richness and proportion of land cover types were statistically analyzed using canonical and bivariate procedures. Residents displayed relatively even distributions. However, Neotropical migrant species displayed a large distribution gap in the southeast corner of the study area. Furthermore, residents did not display land cover associations, but Neotropical and short-distance migrants were significantly correlated with amount of land cover type over the breadth of the study scales. These findings suggest that migrants may be more sensitive to habitat changes than resident bird species. In addition, the multiscale results indicate the contextual and interrelated characteristics of the small- and large-scale patterns and processes. This suggests that local as well as regional scale areas need to be assessed in order to more effectively design management and conservation strategies.
Butler, J. R. (2001). Multi-scale breeding bird and land-cover associations. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science, 76(4), 102-113.