Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    A major challenge facing conservation biologists and wildlife managers is to predict how fauna will respond to habitat loss. Different species require different amounts of habitat for population persistence, and species’ reproductive rates have been identified as one of the major factors affecting these habitat-amount requirements. The purpose of this study was to test the prediction that species with higher reproductive rates require less habitat for population persistence than species with lower reproductive rates. We used 41 species of forest breeding birds to test for a relationship between the annual reproductive output and the amount of forest cover at which each species has a 50% probability of presence in the landscape. To look at the presence of species over landscapes with varying amounts of forest cover, we combined two large-scale independent data sets: the North American Breeding Bird Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) digital data. Species presence/absence information was determined over a 10-year window for 779 circular landscapes that surround each Breeding Bird Survey route in the central and eastern USA region. Annual reproductive rates were obtained from the literature.

    There was a significant negative (interspecies) relationship between the estimated minimum habitat amount at which there was a 50% probability of presence in the landscape and annual reproductive output. This is the first direct test for a negative relationship between minimum habitat requirements and annual reproductive rates.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Vance, Melissa D.; Fahrig, Lenore; Flather, Curtis H. 2003. Effect of reproductive rate on minimum habitat requirements of forest-breeding birds. Ecology. 84(10): 2643-2653


    Breeding Bird Survey, deforestation, extinction threshold, forest-breeding birds, habitat amount, habitat loss, minimum area requirements, minimum habitat requirements, population persistence, reproductive rate

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page