2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

Avian Communities in the Chiricahua Mountains 


Katherine E. Andrews* and Hannah L. Conner
Dr. Peter Goldman, Faculty Mentor

The Chiricahua Mountains are one of the most biodiverse regions in the United States. The differences in habitat with altitude change allow for a variety of avian species to reside within the mountain range. In Spring 2017, avian communities in the Chiricahua Mountains were studied along an elevational gradient. The project compared bird species counts to that of a study conducted 30 years earlier to assess the impact of climate change on bird distributions. Birds were expected to move to higher elevations as temperature increased due to niche conservatism. Birds were counted along four 1-km transects in habitats surveyed in the previous study (riparian, pine-forest woodland, pine-oak woodland, and pine-fir forest) to sample variation in avian communities within the mountain range. Along each transect, birds were recorded when they were seen or heard. Despite limited data, species richness and distributional differences along the elevational gradients was documented.

Keywords: Chiricahua Mountains, Avian species, niche conservatism, elevational gradient , transect sampling, climate change

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 205-1
Location: MG 2001
Time: 9:30

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