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School of Environment and Natural Resources


SENR Autumn 2014 Seminar Series

Sep 18, 2014, 4:00pm - 5:15pm


The SENR Seminar Series welcomes Nicholas Rodenhouse, Professor, Wellesley College Department of Biological Sciences, who will present How Well Do Ecosystem Characteristics Predict Bird Abundance at the Landscape Spatial Scale?

Climate and ecosystem characteristics are changing rapidly but the extent to which these environmental features predict bird species abundance at the landscape spatial scale, within a forest type, has seldom been tested. Birds like other mobile animals choose where to live based on multiple features of the habitat and social environment that may not correspond with ecosystem level processes. We used long-term data collected at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (climate, elevation, aspect and vegetation data), remotely sensed foliar nitrogen, and modeled soil wetness (TWI) and ANPP to predict average bird abundance at 364 locations stratified to represent the entire 3160-ha Hubbard Brook valley. We found a surprisingly low ability of the tested variables to predict average bird abundance within northern hardwoods forest. These results suggest that the food webs of which birds are a part can be sustained over a broad range of values for ecosystem variables can climate.

The SENR Seminar begins at 4:10 p.m in 103 Kottman Hall with a video link to 123 Williams Hall on the Wooster campus.