Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1 MB byte)

Title: Demography of Lewis's Woodpecker, breeding bird densities, and riparian aspen integrity in a grazed landscape

Author: Newlon, Karen Rachel;

Date: 2005

Source: M.S. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 101 p.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Aspen (Populus tremuloides) riparian woodlands are extremely limited in distribution throughout the western U.S., yet these habitats have a disproportionate value to breeding birds. Aspen habitats are also considered prime sheep and cattle summer range, particularly in the semiarid Intermountain West. Such concentrated use has raised concern about the effects of sheep and cattle grazing on these habitats. We examined the influences of sheep and cattle grazing on aspen riparian woodlands and the associated breeding bird community. We had two objectives: 1) to determine how habitats grazed by sheep and cattle influenced the reproductive biology of Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) and 2) to determine how vegetation differed between sheep and cattle-grazed aspen riparian woodlands and how these differences influenced breeding birds densities. To examine what factors influenced nest-site selection in Lewis's Woodpecker and whether these factors influenced nest survival, we quantified nest-site characteristics and monitored nests to determine nest fate. Lewis's Woodpecker nest-site selection was positively influenced by nest tree diameter and tree density and negatively influenced by increasing amounts of bare ground and woody stems. However, these characteristics were not strong predictors of nest survival. Instead, nest initiation date and daily average temperature had the strongest influence. To examine differences in vegetation between sheep- and cattle-grazed aspen riparian woodlands and how these differences influenced the densities of five breeding bird species, we compared several vegetation characteristics between these grazing treatments and conducted point transect surveys and used distance sampling techniques to estimate breeding bird densities. Cattle-grazed sites had more bare ground, less herbaceous cover, lower willow (Salix spp.) densities, and lower aspen densities than sheep-grazed sites. Differences in breeding bird densities between these grazing treatments reflected these vegetation differences, as ground-nesting species and riparian specialists had lower densities in cattle-grazed areas. Data from this study provide landowners and land managers with information on the habitat requirements of sensitive bird species needed to implement compatible grazing strategies in aspen riparian woodlands.

Keywords: aspen, Populus tremuloides, riparian woodlands, Lewis's Woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis, breeding bird densities

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)

XML: View XML

Citation:


Newlon, Karen Rachel 2005. Demography of Lewis''s Woodpecker, breeding bird densities, and riparian aspen integrity in a grazed landscape. M.S. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 101 p.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.