Title of Abstract

Bird community structure in shrublands and evergreen forests in Utah

Poster Number

36

Submitting Student(s)

Abigail Greene

Session Title

Poster Session 2

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Jennifer Schafer, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Biology

Abstract

Temperatures are predicted to continue to rise due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and increasing temperature can cause a shift in species distributions toward higher latitudes and elevations. We downloaded the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) breeding landbird point counts data for the Moab, Utah field site. We investigated species richness (number of species) and diversity (which accounts for richness and relative abundance of species) of the bird community in shrubland and evergreen forest habitats from 2015 to 2020. Shrublands are dominated by perennial shrubs and grasses and occur at lower elevations, while evergreen forests are dominated by coniferous trees and occur at higher elevations. Overall, bird species richness and diversity were higher in the evergreen forest than in the shrubland habitat, likely due to greater vertical heterogeneity creating multiple niches in evergreen forests. In shrublands, species richness of birds differed among years, but there was no difference in bird diversity among years. In contrast, in evergreen forests, species richness of birds did not differ among years, while diversity differed among years. Temperature at the study sites varied among years, but there was no relationship between temperature and species richness or diversity in shrublands. Our results suggest that factors other than temperature, such as resource availability, may have a larger impact on variation in bird community structure than global warming, but further research is needed to understand how temperature interacts with biotic and abiotic factors to affect bird communities.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Bird community structure in shrublands and evergreen forests in Utah

Temperatures are predicted to continue to rise due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and increasing temperature can cause a shift in species distributions toward higher latitudes and elevations. We downloaded the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) breeding landbird point counts data for the Moab, Utah field site. We investigated species richness (number of species) and diversity (which accounts for richness and relative abundance of species) of the bird community in shrubland and evergreen forest habitats from 2015 to 2020. Shrublands are dominated by perennial shrubs and grasses and occur at lower elevations, while evergreen forests are dominated by coniferous trees and occur at higher elevations. Overall, bird species richness and diversity were higher in the evergreen forest than in the shrubland habitat, likely due to greater vertical heterogeneity creating multiple niches in evergreen forests. In shrublands, species richness of birds differed among years, but there was no difference in bird diversity among years. In contrast, in evergreen forests, species richness of birds did not differ among years, while diversity differed among years. Temperature at the study sites varied among years, but there was no relationship between temperature and species richness or diversity in shrublands. Our results suggest that factors other than temperature, such as resource availability, may have a larger impact on variation in bird community structure than global warming, but further research is needed to understand how temperature interacts with biotic and abiotic factors to affect bird communities.