Skip to Main Content
Importance of scale, land cover, and weather on the abundance of bird species in a managed forestAuthor(s): Alexis R. Grinde; Gerald J. Niemi; Brian R. Sturtevant; Hannah Panci; Wayne Thogmartin; Peter Wolter
Source: Forest Ecology and Management
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (656.0 KB)
DescriptionClimate change and habitat loss are projected to be the two greatest drivers of biodiversity loss over the coming century. While public lands have the potential to increase regional resilience of bird populations to these threats, long-term data are necessary to document species responses to changes in climate and habitat to better understand population vulnerabilities. We used generalized linear mixed models to determine the importance of stand-level characteristics, multi-scale land cover, and annual weather factors to the abundance of 61 bird species over a 20-year time frame in Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota, USA. Of the 61 species modeled, we were able to build final models with R-squared values that ranged from 26% to 69% for 37 species; the remaining 24 species models had issues with convergence or low explanatory power (R-squared < 20%). Models for the 37 species show that stand-level characteristics, land cover factors, and annual weather effects on species abundance were species-specific and varied within guilds. Forty-one percent of the final species models included stand-level characteristics, 92% included land cover variables at the 200 m scale, 51% included land cover variables at the 500 m scale, 46% included land cover variables at the 1000 m scale, and 38% included weather variables in best models. Three species models (8%) included significant weather and land cover interaction terms. Overall, models indicated that aboveground tree biomass and land cover variables drove changes in the majority of species. Of those species models including weather variables, more included annual variation in precipitation or drought than temperature. Annual weather variability was significantly more likely to impact abundance of species associated with deciduous forests and bird species that are considered climate sensitive. The long-term data and models we developed are particularly suited to informing science-based adaptive forest management plans that incorporate climate sensitivity, aim to conserve large areas of forest habitat, and maintain an historical mosaic of cover types for conserving a diverse and abundant avian assemblage.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- 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.
CitationGrinde, Alexis R.; Niemi, Gerald J.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Panci, Hannah; Thogmartin, Wayne; Wolter, Peter. 2017. Importance of scale, land cover, and weather on the abundance of bird species in a managed forest. Forest Ecology and Management. 405: 295-308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2017.09.057.
KeywordsAvian abundance, Climate change, Forest management, Empirical model, Laurentian mixed forests
- Synergistic effects of climate and land-cover change on long-term bird population trends of the western USA: A test of modeled predictions
- Effects of forest thinning on bird-vegetation relationships in young Douglas-fir forests
- Assessing the sensitivity of avian species abundance to land cover and climate
XML: View XML