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Title: Avian response to microclimate in canopy gaps in a bottomland hardwood forest.

Abstract - Microclimate may infl uence use of early successional habitat by birds. We assessed the relationships between avian habitat use and microclimate (temperature, light intensity, and relative humidity) in experimentally created canopy gaps in a bottomland hardwood forest on the Savannah River Site, SC. Gaps were 2- to 3-year-old group-selection timber harvest openings of three sizes (0.13, 0.26, 0.50 ha). Our study was conducted from spring through fall, encompassing four bird-use periods (spring migration, breeding, post-breeding, and fall migration), in 2002 and 2003. We used mist netting and simultaneously recorded microclimate variables to determine the influence of microclimate on bird habitat use. Microclimate was strongly affected by net location within canopy gaps in both years. Temperature generally was higher on the west side of gaps, light intensity was greater in gap centers, and relative humidity was higher on the east side of gaps. However, we found few relationships between bird captures and the microclimate variables. Bird captures were inversely correlated with temperature during the breeding and postbreeding periods in 2002 and positively correlated with temperature during spring 2003. Captures were high where humidity was high during post-breeding 2002, and captures were low where humidity was high during spring 2003.more » We conclude that variations in the local microclimate had minor infl uence on avian habitat use within gaps. Instead, habitat selection in relatively mild regions like the southeastern US is based primarily on vegetation structure, while other factors, including microclimate, are less important.« less
Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
953636
Report Number(s):
na
09-01-P; TRN: US201110%%903
DOE Contract Number:
AI09-00SR22188
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Southeastern Naturalist; Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1
Research Org:
USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, New Ellenton, SC
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Environment, Safety and Health (EH)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; BIRDS; BREEDING; FORESTS; HABITAT; HUMIDITY; MICROCLIMATES; OPENINGS; PLANTS; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT Canopy Gaps; Avian response; microclimate; Bottomland hardwood forest