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 (2.4 MB)

Title: Avian abundance thresholds, human-altered landscapes, and the challenge of assemblage-level conservation

Author: Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Riffell, Samuel K.; Flather, Curtis H.;

Date: 2015

Source: Landscape Ecology. 30: 2095-2110.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Context: Land-use change is a global phenomenon with potential to generate abrupt spatial changes in species’ distributions. Objectives: We assessed whether theory about the internal structure of bird species’ geographic ranges can be refined to reflect abrupt changes in distribution and abundance associated with human influences on landscapes, and whether the prevalence and diversity of bird–landscape threshold relationships may significantly complicate assemblage-level avian conservation. Methods; For three large regions in the United States, we used the North American Breeding Bird Survey, U.S. National Land Cover Data, and multivariate adaptive regression splines to assess whether land bird species’ abundances were associated with landscape composition and configuration in a threshold fashion. Results: Threshold relationships between abundance and landscape characteristics were exhibited by 4-60 % of the species studied. The relationships wre evident for five land types and five habitat guilds. We observed threshold relationships for more taxonomically diverse groups of bird species, a broader set of land types, and larger geographic extents than have been considered to date. Conclusions: Avian distribution and abundance theory can be refined by articulating that characteristics of human-altered landscapes have the potential to be widespread and biologically important contributors to abrupt spatial change in species’ abundances. Our findings also expose bird–landscape threshold relationships as pervasive and diverse patterns that impose a much more complicated set of circumstances for assemblage-level conservation of birds than has been widely recognized. To cope with these complications, landscape planners and managers can use optimization analyses, multispecies frameworks, regulatory limits, and multivariate change-point analyses.

Keywords: abrupt spatial changes, bird-landscape thresholds, geographic ranges, internal structure, landscape planning and management, threshold pervasiveness and diversity

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.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Riffell, Samuel K.; Flather, Curtis H. 2015. Avian abundance thresholds, human-altered landscapes, and the challenge of assemblage-level conservation. Landscape Ecology. 30: 2095-2110.

 


 [ 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.