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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Lewis Lolya's Graduate Exit Seminar

Apr 3, 2019, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
139 Howlett Hall

Lewis will be presenting his Graduate Exit Seminar, Assessing Avian Responses to Early Successional Habitat Management Along Pipeline Right-of-ways in Eastern Ohio, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 in 139 Howlett Hall from 1-2pm.

Abstract: Early successional bird species have exhibited population declines across North America, coinciding with a loss in shrubland habitats. Much of the remaining early successional habitats exist on transportation and energy right-of-ways (ROW), including powerline corridors. These landscapes are managed as early successional habitats for regulatory purposes, but subsequently have been utilized by declining shrubland bird species. ROWs are maintained with a variety of practices such as herbicidal treatments, mechanical vegetation removal, and edge thinning; all producing variable vegetation compositions with different impacts on shrubland birds. The Ohio Hills region of Appalachia is historically a critically important landscape for forest songbird conservation. Regional forest fragmentation and land use conversion has increased with the recent and accelerating boom in shale gas development. However, pipeline ROWs, which represent the largest proportion of the modern shale gas development footprint, provide new opportunities for early successional habitat management. This potential has been demonstrated for analogous electric ROWs, but minimal research is available for corridors with underground infrastructure. To understand this potential, we applied aspects of integrated vegetation management and forest edge manipulation to pipeline ROWs in Eastern Ohio and assessed responses of breeding songbird communities to these practices.