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Title: Fire and avian ecology in North America: Process influencing pattern

Author: Saab, Victoria A.; Powell, Hugh D. W.;

Date: 2005

Source: In: Saab, V.; Powell, H., eds. Fire and Avian Ecology in North America. Studies in Avian Biology. 30: 1-13.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: We summarize the findings from 10 subsequent chapters that collectively review fire and avian ecology across 40 North American ecosystems. We highlight patterns and future research topics that recur among the chapters. Vegetation types with long fire-return intervals, such as boreal forests of Canada, forests at high elevations, and those in the humid Pacific Northwest, have experienced the least change in fire regimes. The spatial scale of fires has generally decreased in eastern and central North America, while it has largely increased in the western United States. Principal causes of altered fire regimes include fire suppression, cessation of ignitions by American Indians, livestock grazing, invasion by exotic plants, and climate change. Each chapter compiles the responses of birds to fire in a specific region. We condensed these responses (203 species) into a summary table that reveals some interesting patterns, although it does not distinguish among fire regimes or time since fire. Aerial, ground, and bark insectivores clearly favored recently burned habitats, whereas foliage gleaners preferred unburned habitats. Species with closed nests (i.e., cavity nesters) responded more favorably to newly burned habitats than species with open-cup nests, and those nesting in the ground and canopy layers generally favored burned habitats compared to shrub nesters. Future directions for research suggested by authors of individual chapters fell into two broad groups, which we characterized as habitat-centered questions (e.g., How does mechanical thinning affect habitat?) and bird-centered questions (e.g., How does fire affect nest survival?).

Resumen. En este capítulo resumimos distintos descubrimientos de 10 capítulos subsecuentes, los cuales revisan la ecología del fuego y de las aves a través de 40 ecosistemas de Norte América. Subrayamos los patrones y temas para la investigación recurrentes entre los capítulos. Tipos de vegetación con intervalos largos de recurrencia de incendios, tales como los bosques boreales de Canadá, bosques de altas elevaciones, y aquellos en la parte húmeda del Pacífi co Noroeste, han experimentado el menor cambio en los regimenes de incendios. La escala espacial de incendios generalmente ha disminuido en el este y centro de Norte América, mientras que ha incrementado enormemente en la par oeste de los estados Unidos. La principales causas de regimenes de incendio alterados incluyen la supresión de incendios, la terminación por parte de los Indios de Norte América de la provocación de incendios, el pastoreo, la invasión de plantas exóticas, y el cambio climático. Cada capítulo compila las respuestas de las aves al fuego de una región en particular. Condensamos dichas respuestas (203 especies) en una tabla, la cual revela algunos patrones interesantes, a pesar de que no reconoce regimenes de incendio o el tiempo transcurrido a partir del incendio. Insectívoros aéreos, de suelo y de la corteza claramente se favorecen de habitats recientemente incendiados, en donde especies de follaje espigado prefi eren habitats sin incendiar. Especies con nidos cerrados (ej. que anidan en cavidades) respondieron más favorablemente a habitats recientemente quemados que aquellas especies con nidos de copa abierta, y las especies que anidan en el suelo y en las copas, generalmente se favorecieron de habitats quemados, en comparación con los que anidan en arbustos. Futuras direcciones para la investigación, sugeridas por los autores de cada capítulo recaen en dos grandes grupos, los cuales caracterizamos como preguntas centradas en el habitat (ej. cómo las prácticas mecánicas para aclareo afectan el hábitat? Y preguntas centradas en las aves (ej. Cómo el fuego afecta a la supervivencia de nidos?)

Keywords: alterations in fire regimes, avian ecology, bird responses, fire ecology, historical fire regimes, North American vegetation

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Citation:


Saab, Victoria A.; Powell, Hugh D. W. 2005. Fire and avian ecology in North America: Process influencing pattern. In: Saab, V.; Powell, H., eds. Fire and Avian Ecology in North America. Studies in Avian Biology. 30: 1-13.

 


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