2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Short-term Responses of Fall Migratory Bird Communities to Riparian Management in Northeastern Missouri
Conor J. Gearin
Dr. Jason Luscier, Faculty Mentor

Riparian zones, the vegetation belts adjacent to streams and rivers, are important corridors for birds travelling through landscapes fragmented by human development. The structural diversity of riparian vegetation through fragmented landscapes may affect the diversity of birds that use such corridors. I hypothesized that increasing the height of non-woody vegetation near the stream bank would lead to bird communities with more high-wetland-affinity species. I surveyed three riparian sites in Adair County: one with mowed vegetation (Truman State U., TSU), one with a no-mow zone (Rotary Park, ROPA), and one in a restored oak-savannah habitat (Big Creek Conservation Area, BCCA). Species richness estimates (± SE) ranged from 10.6 ± 3.18 for TSU, 12.2 ± 2.76 for ROPA, and 18.4 ± 3.03 for BCCA. While species richness was similar among sites, species composition was not. Wetland-obligate and facultative species made up the TSU communities, while ROPA consisted primarily of woodland-obligate species.

Keywords: Ornithology, Conservation, Ecology, Land Management, Restoration, Birds, Migration, Fragmentation

Topic(s):Biology
Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 3-3
Location: GEO-SUB
Time: 3:30

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