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Title: Avian community composition in response to high explosive testing operations at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Northern New Mexico

Breeding bird abundance, species richness, evenness, diversity, composition, productivity, and survivorship were determined near a high-explosive detonation site at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA, during pre-operation (1997-1999) and operation (2000-2014) periods. The operation periods consisted of detonations (<23 kg in yield and <3 per breeding season) in open air (2000-2002), within foam containment (2003-2006) and within steel vessel containment (2007-2014) systems; the latter two were employed to reduce noise and dispersal of high-explosives residues. A total of 2952 bird captures, representing 80 species, was recorded during 18 years of mist net operations using the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship protocol. Individuals captured were identified to species, aged, sexed, and banded during May through August of each year. There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in mean avian abundance and species evenness in any of the operation periods as compared with the pre-operation period. Species richness and diversity were significantly higher (p < 0.05) during the vessel containment period (2007-2014) than the pre-operation period. The time period of this study coincided with a wildfire (2000), a bark beetle infestation (2002), and two periods of drought (Nov 1999-Mar 2004 and Dec 2005-Dec 2014) that affected the study area. Furthermore,more » analysis of aerial photos determined that the average percent canopy cover of mature ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa) within 100 feet of mist net sites declined from 12% to 3% between 1991 and 2014 and the percent cover of shrubs slightly increased.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. The Institute for Bird Population, Point Reyes Station, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2152-2197
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Environmental Protection
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 06; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 2152-2197
Scientific Research Publishing
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Avian communities; MAPS; diversity; high explosives; noise; drought; vegetation change; climate; habitat; southwest; New Mexico
OSTI Identifier: