Local-Scale Association of Boreal Birds with Clearcuts Does Not Translate to the Landscape Scale

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Creator: 

Farrell, Claire Emma

Date: 

2018

Abstract: 

Common Nighthawk and Eastern Whip-poor-will, species-at-risk, use clearcuts locally; however this has not been tested at landscape-scales. I asked: Are landscapes with more clearcut associated with higher occupancy of these species? Occurrence of neither species was significantly affected (n=49) by clearcuts in the surrounding landscape, at any spatial extent. However, Common Nighthawk occupancy was lower in landscapes with more, older clearcuts, and both species occupancy was higher in landscapes with more wetland, significantly for Eastern Whip-poor-will. I propose these species nest on clearcuts because they are like other open habitats (i.e. wetlands). However, clearcuts may offer less insect prey than wetlands and therefore do not act as similar foraging habitat. Thus, clearcuts may be ecological traps, attracting birds to nest in lower quality habitat. I demonstrated that local-scale habitat associations do not necessarily translate to the landscape-scale. This suggests conservation of wetlands are important for persistence of boreal bird species.

Subject: 

Ecology
Biology

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Science: 
M.Sc.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Biology

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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