Species Richness, Abundance, and Productivity of Birds Along a Powerline Right-of-way within a Forested Landscape, Northeastern United States.

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Date: Apr. 2022
From: The American Midland Naturalist(Vol. 187, Issue 2)
Publisher: University of Notre Dame, Department of Biological Sciences
Document Type: Article
Length: 5,694 words
Lexile Measure: 1580L

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Abstract :

Utility rights-of-way (ROW) serve as nesting areas and maintain a high diversity of early successional birds. ROW incorporating wire zone-border zone and integrated vegetation management can be used as examples of early successional habitat management for bird conservation more generally in the Northeastern United States, given artificial disturbances not created solely for natural resource conservation comprise approximately 80% of early successional habitats. The objective of our study was to determine the effect of herbicide and mechanical vegetation management approaches on the abundance, species richness, and reproductive success of breeding bird species occupying an electric transmission line ROW in central Pennsylvania. The overall abundance of birds was significantly lower within the wire and border management zones, following initiation of a new vegetation management cycle at State Game Lands (SGL 33) than in the years prior to management. Sections of ROW with no border zones contained the lowest abundance and species richness of breeding birds compared to sections with borders prior to the initiation of a new management cycle. Sections of ROW with no border zones and mowing sections bad the lowest bird abundance and species richness of all ROW sections at the onset of a new management cycle, and contained the lowest number of bird species displaying evidence of breeding, both prior to and at the beginning of management cycles. Sections of ROW managed using herbicides were comparable or more beneficial to bird communities in terms of abundance, species richness, indices of productivity, and nesting success than sections maintained via mechanical treatments (mowing and hand cutting), both at the end and beginning of management cycles within a forested landscape in the central Appalachian Mountains and surrounding forested regions in the northeastern United States.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A703606155