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Keyword: Gila River

Where the desert meets the river: Investigating southwestern riparian ecosystems

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 23, 2019
Rivers and streams of the American Southwest have been heavily altered by human activity, resulting in significant changes to disturbance regimes. Riparian vegetation in aridland floodplain systems is critically important as foraging, migrating, and breeding habitat to birds and other animal species. To conserve riparian ecosystems and organisms, understanding how plants and animals are affected by disturbance processes and multiple stressors is critical.

Use of native and nonnative nest plants by riparian-nesting birds along two streams in New Mexico

Publications Posted on: July 25, 2019
Nonnative plant invasions are a management concern, particularly in riparian forests, but little is known about mechanisms through which they influence vertebrate communities. In the American Southwest, native trees such as cottonwood (Populus spp.) are thought to provide better habitat for breeding birds than nonnative plants, which are more tolerant of human-altered conditions.

How removal of invasive trees affects nesting birds in riparian areas

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 24, 2015
In central New Mexico's Middle Rio Grande corridor, birds such as the blue grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), and the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) nest in invasive exotic tree species. Researchers studied nesting success in areas dominated by native tree species such as willows, areas dominated by invasive species such as tamarisk, sites that burned, those not burned, and those where invasive species had been removed.

Nest-location and nest-survival of black-chinned hummingbirds in New Mexico: A comparison between rivers with differing levels of regulation and invasion of nonnative plants

Publications Posted on: March 04, 2015
We compared plants used as sites for nests and survival of nests of black-chinned hummingbirds (Archilochus alexandri) along two rivers in New Mexico. Along the free-flowing Gila River which was dominated by native plants, most nests were constructed in boxelder (Acer negundo).