Date of Award
Master of Science
Natural Resource Ecology and Management
James R. Miller
Open-canopy oak forests not cleared for agriculture rapidly shift to closed-canopy
forests. These changes have produced feedback loops that increasingly favor shade-tolerant
tree species over fire-adapted species. Studies observing changes from oak-to mapledominated
forests have found decreased avian species richness and abundance. The primary
goal of this study was to examine changes in forest bird communities over a relatively short
period of time, and assess these changes in light of habitat alterations during this same
period. We specifically used recent survey data to predict forest bird occurrences. Point
counts were conducted during the breeding season in 2006-07 at 49 survey stations that had
been surveyed in 1995-96. Local-habitat variables were measured within 50-m and land
cover and land use variables were digitized (200-m, 1-km, and 6-km) for each period.
Single-species logistic and autologistic models were created using the 1995-96 dataset.
Using the 2006-07 dataset, models were evaluated using receiver operating characteristic
(ROC) curves. Predictive models performed best for species associated with open habitats
and dense understories, suggesting that we have a relatively good understanding of their
habitat requirements. The inclusion of variables measured at relatively fine scales suggests
that relying on remotely sensed imagery alone will not be sufficient to make predictions on
species occurrences at the scales we studied.
Jaymi Joi Lebrun
Lebrun, Jaymi Joi, "Using changes in land use and land cover to predict avian species occurrences at" (2008). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 11395.