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Title: Projecting the bird community response resulting from the adoption of shelterbelt agroforestry practices in Eastern Nebraska

Author: Pierce, R. A., II II; Farrand, D. T.; Kurtz, W. B.;

Date: 2001

Source: Agroforestry Systems 53:333-350

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Evolving agricultural policies have influenced management practices within agroecosystems, impacting available habitats for many species of wildlife. Enhancing wildlife habitat has become an explicit objective of existing agricultural policy. Thus, there is renewed focus on field borders and the use of shelterbelt agroforestry systems to achieve conservation goals in the Midwest. Two Representative Farms- a 283-ha dryland and 510-ha irrigated farm were created in Saunders County, Nebraska. The Habitat Analysis and Modeling System (HAMS) was used to describe the composition and spatial pattern of the existing farms and surrounding landscape, as well as for the landscapes surrounding selected Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes. Simulated land use changes resulting from the implementation of two shelterbelt scenarios, Agricultural and Wildlife, were incorporated on each Representative Farm and surrounding landscape. Landscape variables which influence breeding bird species richness and community composition as determined from BBS routes were measured on simulated farm landscapes. A more heterogeneous landscape results from implementing either scenario. The percent total woods was a significant determinant of bird species richness on the BBS routes and was important in influencing bird communities at the farm- and landscape-level. Other landscape metrics which influenced the bird community composition on BBS routes were woody edge percentages and edge density values. Policies promoting shelterbelts create edge habitats which ultimately favor birds within the Forest-edge/ generalist guild while bird species in need of conservation such as grassland-field species would potentially be negatively affected.

Keywords: conservation, geographic information systems, policy, wildlife, windbreaks

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Pierce, R. A., II; Farrand, D. T.; Kurtz, W. B. 2001. Projecting the bird community response resulting from the adoption of shelterbelt agroforestry practices in Eastern Nebraska. Agroforestry Systems 53:333-350


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