Skip to Main Content
Do forest community types provide a sufficient basis to evaluate biological diversity?Author(s): Samuel A. Cushman; Kevin S. McKelvey; Curtis H. Flather; Kevin McGarigal
Source: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 6(1): 13-17.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (241.8 KB)
DescriptionForest communities, defined by the size and configuration of cover types and stand ages, have commonly been used as proxies for the abundance or viability of wildlife populations. However, for community types to succeed as proxies for species abundance, several assumptions must be met. We tested these assumptions for birds in an Oregon forest environment. Measured habitat was a weak proxy for species abundance and vegetation cover type was a weak proxy for habitat, explaining only 4% of the variance in species abundance. The adequacy of forest community types as habitat proxies was highly dependent on classification rules and the spatial scales at which communities were defined. Habitat was perceived differently by species guilds and a single, generalized characterization of habitat is therefore unlikely to provide a reliable basis for multi-species conservation efforts. Given the weak relations between forest vegetation and species abundance, evaluation of landscape pattern is unlikely to be an effective replacement for the direct monitoring of species population size and distribution.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
CitationCushman, Samuel A.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Flather, Curtis H.; McGarigal, Kevin. 2008. Do forest community types provide a sufficient basis to evaluate biological diversity? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 6(1): 13-17.
Keywordsforest community types, biological diversity, Oregon, direct monitoring
- Relating FIA data to habitat classifications via tree-based models of canopy cover
- Associations between breeding bird abundance and stand structure in the White Mountains, New Hampshire and Maine, USA
- Effects of forest thinning on bird-vegetation relationships in young Douglas-fir forests
XML: View XML