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
    Author(s): Deborah M. Finch
    Date: 1991
    Source: Canadian Journal of Zoology. 69: 951-963.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    Bird count data were used to characterize patterns of abundance and distribution among 20 bird species occupying streamside habitats of the central Rocky Mountains. Cluster analysis classified bird assemblages from 10 study plots into three elevational zones that varied in bird species diversity. Monotonic declines in total bird densities over the elevational gradient corresponded to spatial fluctuations in population levels of a few numerically dominant species. Of 190 correlations in counts of species pairs, 48 were significant, a much greater proportion than that expected by chance. Only 12 of the 48 associations were negative, suggesting that current competition may be less important than other processes in structuring these communities. Five suites of the positively associating species were detected using cluster, correlational, and variance analyses. Aggregated species responded to habitat ecotones by simultaneously increasing or decreasing in abundance. Group composition was dependent on patterns of species distribution among elevational zones, and on whether species were specialists or generalists in habitat use. Abundances of 19 species were related to five habitat gradients created by principal components analysis of habitat structure. A reasonable explanation for positive covariance in bird abundance is that species responded similarly to limiting resources that were associated with elevational zones.

    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.


    Finch, Deborah M. 1991. Positive associations among riparian bird species correspond to elevational changes in plant communities. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 69: 951-963.


    riparian bird species, elevational zones, plant communities, cluster analysis

    Related Search

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