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Title: Long-term avian research at the San Joaquin Experimental Range: recommendations for monitoring and managing oak woodlands

Author: Purcell, Kathryn L.;

Date: 2011

Source: Forest Ecology and Management 262(1): 12-19

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Experimental forests and ranges are living laboratories that provide opportunities for conducting scientific research and transferring research results to partners and stakeholders. They are invaluable for their long-term data and capacity to foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research. The San Joaquin Experimental Range (SJER) was established to develop appropriate land management practices on foothill rangelands in California. SJER has a long and rich history of avian research. Natural history observations recorded since 1935 demonstrate that oak woodlands are one of the most diverse habitat types in North America. Early avian studies focused on California quail (Callipepla californica) as a game species and led to insights on quail diet and habitat requirements. Starting in the late 1970s, the focus of avian research shifted to methods for detecting changes in wildlife populations over time and response to management practices. This research has led to important recommendations for implementing bird monitoring programs. Using data collected on bird numbers, in conjunction with monitoring reproductive success of all species, recent studies have examined life history strategies, source–sink dynamics, the effects of livestock grazing, and the impacts of an invasive species on native cavity-nesting species. We are currently in the process of examining population trends and predicting the effects of climate change using long-term data. SJER continues to provide unique opportunities for research and educational activities that increase our understanding of the foothill oak woodlands of California.

Keywords: avian monitoring, experimental forests and ranges, life history strategies, nest boxes, oak woodlands, source–sink dynamics

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.



Purcell, Kathryn L. 2011. Long-term avian research at the San Joaquin Experimental Range: recommendations for monitoring and managing oak woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 262(1): 12-19. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2010.07.039


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