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Title: Modeling the effects of environmental disturbance on wildlife communities: avian responses to prescribed fire

Author: Russell, Robin E.; Royle, J. Andrew; Saab, Victoria A.; Lehmkuhl, John F.; Block, William M.; Sauer, John R.;

Date: 2009

Source: Ecological Applications. 19(5): 1253-1263

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Prescribed fire is a management tool used to reduce fuel loads on public lands in forested areas in the western United States. Recent developments in occupancy modeling have established a framework for quantifying the impacts of management practices on wildlife community dynamics. We describe a Bayesian hierarchical model of multispecies occupancy accounting for detection probability, and we demonstrate the model's usefulness for identifying effects of habitat disturbances on wildlife communities. Advantages to using the model include the ability to estimate the effects of environmental impacts on rare or elusive species, the intuitive nature of the modeling, the incorporation of detection probability, the estimation of parameter uncertainty, the flexibility of the model to suit a variety of experimental designs, and the composite estimate of the response that applies to the collection of observed species as opposed to merely a small subset of common species.

Keywords: composite analysis, fuel treatments, hierarachical Bayes, point count survey, ponderosa pine, presence-absence data, species richness, WinBUGS

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.



Russell, R.E.; Royle, J.A.; Saab, V.A.; Lehmkuhl, J.F.; Block, W.M.; Sauer, J.R. 2009. Modeling the effects of environmental disturbance on wildlife communities: avian responses to prescribed fire. Ecological Applications. 19(5): 1253-1263.


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