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

    Description

    Global climate models predict increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events such as hurricanes, which may abruptly alter ecological processes in forests and thus affect avian diversity. Developing appropriate conservation measures necessitates identifying patterns of avifauna response to hurricanes. We sought to answer two questions: (1) does avian diversity, measured as community similarity, abundance, and species richness, change in areas affected by hurricane compared with unaffected areas, and (2) what factors are associated with the change(s) in avian diversity? We used North American Breeding Bird Survey data, hurricane track information, and a time series of Landsat images in a repeated measures framework to answer these questions. Our results show a decrease in community similarity in the first posthurricane breeding season for all species as a group, and for species that nest in the midstory and canopy. We also found significant effects of hurricanes on abundance for species that breed in urban and woodland habitats, but not on the richness of any guild. In total, hurricanes produced regional changes in community similarity largely without significant loss of richness or overall avian abundance.We identified several potential mechanisms for these changes in avian diversity, including hurricane-induced changes in forest habitat and the use of refugia by birds displaced from hurricane-damaged forests. The prospect of increasing frequency and intensity of hurricanes is not likely to invoke a conservation crisis for birds provided we maintain sufficient forest habitat so that avifauna can respond to hurricanes by shifting to areas of suitable habitat.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us 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.

    Citation

    Rittenhouse, Chadwick D.; Pidgeon, Anna M.; Albright, Thomas P.; Culbert, Patrick D.; Clayton, Murray K.; Flather, Curtis H.; Huang, Chengquan; Masek, Jeffrey G.; Radeloff, Volker C. 2010. Avifauna response to hurricanes: regional changes in community similarity. Global Change Biology. 16: 905-917.

    Keywords

    abundance, biodiversity, birds, community similarity, hurricane, North American Breeding Bird Survey, richness, United States

    Related Search


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