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					Avian Response to Land Use
   in Huntsville, Alabama
        Kelsey Molloy
        July 23, 2009
                Introduction
• Urbanization: “A process in which natural
  landscapes are altered to landscapes of
  degraded habitats, dominated by human
  uses.”(Bowman, et al 1999)

• Major threat to macro-vertebrate conservation
  and biodiversity

• Causing high extinction rates for native species
               Introduction
• Effects:
  - Changes in vegetation
  - Pollution (light, noise, chemical)
  - Fragmentation
  - Habitat loss
              Introduction
• Local scale biodiversity increase; larger
  scale leads to homogenization

• Leads to:
  - Presence of invasives
  - Decrease in biodiversity
  - Species extinction
                Introduction
• Selects for:
  - ground gleaning, gregarious, and
  cosmopolitan species

• Selects against:
   - forest interior, bark drilling, and high
  canopy species


                         Scarlet Tanager
                 Hypotheses
1. We expect to find relatively equal diversity
   in the three types of habitat.

2. We expect to find certain species in
   specific areas and not in others.

3. We expect to see edge effect increasing the
   likelihood of observing species at a point that
   would not be expected in that habitat.
 Methods: Landuse designation
• ArcGIS 9.3
• Used 2001 landcover
  data
• Classify into 4 uses:
  - urban
  - agriculture
  - greenspace
  - restricted
Methods: Habitats
      Methods: Point Buffers
• Superimposed 200 m
 buffer around each point
• Used ArcGIS Tabulate
 Areas Function
• Determined areas of
landuse type within each
buffer
       Methods: Bird Surveys
• 56 points surveyed (urban-19; agriculture-20;
  greenspace-17)

• Surveys lasted 12 minutes

• Approx. 6 points / day (2 each habitat)

• From 6 AM to 10 AM

• Three weeks in June
     Methods: Statistical Analysis
•       Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
    - used for evenness, richness, resident status,
        biodiversity measures, etc.
    - looked at by habitat type
    - alpha level of 0.05 for all tests

•      Linear Regressions
    - performed Principle Components Analysis (PCA)
    - compares habitat heterogeneity to diversity, resident
       status, exotics
                 Results
• Surveyed 56 points

• Detected total of 69 species

• Four of these were exotic

• Most common birds across all habitats:
  Carolina Wren and Northern Cardinal
            Results
Species Composition by Habitat




    Urban           2
                        Greenspace
      4                       10

             12      16    13


                    12
             Agriculture




            Total Species: 69
                Results: Biodiversity
Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index                              Species Richness
2.6                                                    15


2.5
                                                       14

2.4
                                                       13




                                    Species Richness
2.3


2.2                                                    12


2.1                                                    11

2.0
                                                       10
1.9

                                                       9
1.8

1.7                                                    8
        Urban    Greenspace   Agriculture                   Urban   Greenspace   Agriculture


                  Habitat                                            Habitat


        F= 4.86; p= 0.01                                       F= 6.80; p= 0.002
       Results: Foraging guilds
      Foliage Gleaners                                                                    Ground Gleaners

1.0                                                                               1.0

 .9                                                                                .9
                 Percent Ground Gleaning Individuals




 .8                                                                                .8

 .7                                                                                .7

 .6                                                                                .6

 .5                                                                                .5

 .4                                                                                .4

 .3                                                                                .3

 .2                                                                                .2

 .1                                                                                .1

0.0                                                                               0.0
         Urban                                         Greenspace   Agriculture         Urban   Greenspace   Agriculture


                                                        Habitat                                  Habitat


        F= 46.91; p< 0.001                                                              F= 41.56; p< 0.001
                  Results: Exotics
      By Landuse Category                                        By Landuse Gradient
1.0                                                     1.0

 .9

 .8                                                      .8

 .7
                                                         .6




                                      Percent Exotics
 .6

 .5
                                                         .4
 .4

 .3
                                                         .2
 .2

 .1                                                     0.0

0.0

-.1                                                     -.2
         Urban   Greenspace   Agriculture                 -1.5   -1.0   -.5     0.0    .5     1.0     1.5   2.0   2.5


                 HABITAT                                                      Principal Component 2



      F= 42.74; p<0.001                                             r2= 0.56; p<0.001
               Results: Residents
      By Landuse Category                                              By Landuse Gradient

1.0                                                           1.1

                                                              1.0
 .9
                                                               .9
 .8
                 Percent Resident Individuals


                                                               .8
 .7
                                                               .7
 .6
                                                               .6
 .5
                                                               .5
 .4
                                                               .4

 .3                                                            .3

 .2                                                            .2

 .1                                                            .1

0.0                                                            .0
       Urban   Greenspace                       Agriculture     -1.5   -1.0   -.5     0.0    .5     1.0     1.5   2.0   2.5


               HABITAT                                                              Principal Component 2


       F= 12.07; p< 0.001                                                 r2= 0.204; p< 0.001
Results: Neo-tropical Migrants
      By Landuse Category                                                By Landuse Gradient

1.0                                                             1.0

 .9                                                              .9

 .8                                                              .8
                   Percent Neo-tropical Migrant


 .7                                                              .7

 .6                                                              .6

 .5                                                              .5

 .4                                                              .4

 .3                                                              .3

 .2                                                              .2

 .1                                                              .1

0.0                                                             0.0

-.1                                                             -.1
        Urban   Greenspace                        Agriculture     -1.5    -1.0   -.5     0.0    .5     1.0     1.5   2.0   2.5


                HABITAT                                                                Principal Component 2


       F=16.36; p< 0.001                                                         r2= 0.17; p= 0.002
                Discussion
• Both biodiversity and species richness had
  highest values with agriculture, lowest with
  urban.
  - reflects how urban areas decrease biodiversity
  at a regional level

• Ground gleaning species made up a wide
  majority of urban birds
 - changes caused by urbanization; reduction of
  heterogeneous habitats
          Discussion, cont’d
• Greenspace has highest percentages of
  foliage gleaners
 - due to structural differences in vegetation
  among habitats

• Both ANOVA and linear regression show
  increase in exotics with urbanization
 - homogenized urban landscapes support
  similar species worldwide
          Discussion, cont’d
• Higher percentages of resident species with
  urbanization
  - number of factors: feeders, out competing
  migrants, etc

• Greenspace has higher values for neo-tropical
  migrants; values decrease with an increase in
  urbanization
  - migrants face additional hazards and
  competition in urban areas
              Conclusions
• Urbanization leads to a variety of negative
  effects on avian populations

• Data supports other studies findings on
  effects

• Future studies could look at urbanization
  gradients and determination of actual
  urbanization
        Acknowledgements!
• Dr. Yong Wang and AAMU for this
  research opportunity

• Bill Sutton for help with bird surveys and
  everything else

• Dawn Lemke for GIS assistance
Questions?
                                                 Answers
                                                Species Detection Over Time
                                 9.00
New Species Found per Interval


                                 8.00


                                 7.00


                                 6.00


                                 5.00                                                  urban
                                                                                       green
                                 4.00                                                  ag

                                 3.00


                                 2.00


                                 1.00


                                 0.00
                                        3 min         6 min           9 min   12 min

                                                          Time Interval
                                         Answers
                                     Species Detection over Distance
                        8



                        7



                        6
# of species detected




                        5

                                                                            total ave
                                                                            urban ave
                        4
                                                                            green ave
                                                                            ag ave

                        3



                        2



                        1



                        0
                            0-60 m              60-100 m           100+ m

                                                Distance

				
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