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dc.contributor.authorHenderson, A. E.
dc.contributor.authorDavis, S. K.
dc.date.accessioned2021-03-08T18:43:16Z
dc.date.available2021-03-08T18:43:16Z
dc.date.issued2014-01
dc.identifier.citationHenderson, A. E., & Davis, S. K. (2014b). Rangeland health assessment: A useful tool for linking range management and grassland bird conservation? Rangeland Ecology & Management, 67(1), 88–98.
dc.identifier.issn0022-409x
dc.identifier.doi10.2111/REM-D-12-00140.1
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/657034
dc.description.abstractLarge-scale loss and degradation of North American native prairie coupled with sharp declines in grassland bird populations call for a clear understanding of the effects of livestock production on bird habitat selection. Grassland birds typically select breeding habitat based on a suite of structural and community vegetation features shaped by grazing. Rangeland health indices are a tool for assessing grassland structure and community composition that may offer biologists and range managers common language to achieve grassland bird recovery goals. We used point-count surveys, vegetation measures, and indices of rangeland health to examine bird-habitat relationships on native grassland in southwestern Saskatchewan for 10 grassland bird species. We used an information theoretic approach to compare the support of three hypotheses explaining variation in bird abundance as a function of local vegetation characteristics: bird abundance is best explained by 1) vegetation structure, 2) vegetation structure heterogeneity, or 3) plant community. Vegetation structure variables were present in top-ranking models (i.e., models within four Akaike information criterion units of top model) for eight species and solely comprised top-ranking models for Baird's sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii), chestnut-collared longspur (Calcarius ornatus), horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), McCown's longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), and savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). Structural heterogeneity variables were present in top-ranked models for grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), and western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta). Plant composition variables solely comprised top-ranking models for clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) and were present in top-ranked models for grasshopper sparrow and vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus). Our results indicate that vegetation structure variables, namely litter mass, vegetation volume, and bare ground cover, best explain variation in bird abundance. Although the rangeland health index received little support as a predictor of bird abundance, vegetation structure components of the index could be used to communicate grazing management guidelines that maintain grassland bird habitat. © 2014 The Society for Range Management.
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherSociety for Range Management
dc.relation.urlhttps://rangelands.org/
dc.rightsCopyright © Society for Range Management.
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
dc.subjectbird abundance
dc.subjectgrassland birds
dc.subjecthabitat selection
dc.subjectrangeland health
dc.subjectvegetation structure
dc.subjectzero-inflated models
dc.titleRangeland health assessment: A useful tool for linking range management and grassland bird conservation?
dc.typeArticle
dc.typetext
dc.identifier.journalRangeland Ecology & Management
dc.description.collectioninformationThe Rangeland Ecology & Management archives are made available by the Society for Range Management and the University of Arizona Libraries. Contact lbry-journals@email.arizona.edu for further information.
dc.eprint.versionFinal published version
dc.source.journaltitleRangeland Ecology & Management
dc.source.volume67
dc.source.issue1
dc.source.beginpage88
dc.source.endpage98
refterms.dateFOA2021-03-08T18:43:16Z


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