Grassland bird communities on conservation and marginal grasslands in an agricultural landscape

W. Andrew Cox, Lillian LaReesa Wolfenbarger, Lorelle I. Berkeley, Shannon E. Engberg, William M. Janousek, Page E. Klug, Nicholette L. Rider, John P McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Six years of point count data in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, USA, were used to investigate how the community structure of grassland birds and the densities of four focal species (common yellowthroat, dickcissel, grasshopper sparrow and sedge wren) varied on conservation lands with differing management strategies (i.e., warm- versus cool-season grasses and low- to high-diversity plantings), and between conservation and unmanaged marginal grasslands (e.g., field borders and terraces). Model-selection results indicated that grasshopper sparrow and dickcissel densities were influenced by grassland type, with higher densities in parcels dominated by warm-season grasses. Species-specific changes in density in response to planting diversity reinforced the value of creating heterogeneous habitat for grassland birds. Densities for all four species were substantially lower in unmanaged marginal grasslands versus conservation parcels and the community structure between the two habitats differed significantly, with generalist species (e.g., American robins, common grackles and grassland species associated with shorter, sparse and patchy vegetation (e.g., horned lark and vesper sparrow)) largely replacing tallgrass specialists in unmanaged marginal grassland parcels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Volume193
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

Fingerprint

agricultural land
grasslands
grassland
bird
birds
grasshopper
community structure
grass
planting
Turdus migratorius
warm season grasses
cool season grasses
Troglodytidae
Passeriformes
sedge
terraces
habitat
habitats
land management
generalist

Keywords

  • Agro-ecosystems
  • Avian community structure
  • Common yellowthroat
  • Dickcissel
  • Farmlands
  • Grasshopper sparrow
  • Grassland passerines
  • Sedge wren

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Grassland bird communities on conservation and marginal grasslands in an agricultural landscape. / Cox, W. Andrew; Wolfenbarger, Lillian LaReesa; Berkeley, Lorelle I.; Engberg, Shannon E.; Janousek, William M.; Klug, Page E.; Rider, Nicholette L.; McCarty, John P.

In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Vol. 193, 01.08.2014, p. 53-59.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cox, W. Andrew ; Wolfenbarger, Lillian LaReesa ; Berkeley, Lorelle I. ; Engberg, Shannon E. ; Janousek, William M. ; Klug, Page E. ; Rider, Nicholette L. ; McCarty, John P. / Grassland bird communities on conservation and marginal grasslands in an agricultural landscape. In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2014 ; Vol. 193. pp. 53-59.
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