Multi-scale Effects of Forest Fragmentation and Landscape Context on Population Health of Birds

EPA Grant Number: R827673
Title: Multi-scale Effects of Forest Fragmentation and Landscape Context on Population Health of Birds
Investigators: Martin, Thomas E. , Redmond, Roland L.
Institution: University of Montana
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: October 1, 1999 through September 30, 2002 (Extended to September 30, 2003)
Project Amount: $659,331
RFA: Regional Scale Analysis and Assessment (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecosystems , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration


Data from intensive studies of demography of birds at replicated sites and multiple spatial scales within and among geographic regions will be used to assess spatial scale and landscape context effects on major population processes (nest predation and Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism) that influence population health of birds.


We will use satellite imagery to characterize forest fragmentation and their landscapes at 27 sites across the U.S. for which we have bird demographic data. We will use data on nesting success of birds from >30,000 nests of more than 200 species of birds at more than 250 plots at 27 sites across the U.S. to examine: 1) the spatial scales that influence demographic processes (i.e., predation and parasitism) within and among geographic regions, 2) the role of cover type (e.g., forest, agriculture, human habitations, etc) in the landscape (landscape context) on predation and parasitism relationships, and 3) predation and parasitism relationships with landscape characteristics among regions. We will use the information on predation and parasitism relationships obtained from these 3 sets of analyses to: 1) develop predictive models of bird demographic responses to forest fragmentation throughout North America, 2) examine the demographic consequences among functional groups (i.e., nest types, habitat requirements) to determine variation in population sensitivity and identify high risk species and species groups, and 3) model these demographic relationships in terms of population sustainability (i.e., is > 1.0) to attempt to identify landscape conditions that support source (self-sustaining) populations.

Expected Results:

Results from this work will provide new and more general insight into the spatial scale influence of fragmentation and landscape context on nest predation and cowbird parasitism in birds. Moreover, results of this work can then be applied to satellite data across North America and across time to examine and predict the potential demographic consequences of land use changes on bird populations into the future.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 8 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 2 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

National, vulnerability, terrestrial, scaling., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecology, Forestry, Environmental Monitoring, Regional/Scaling, Biology, landscape context, population sensitivity, demographic consequences, regional scale impacts, birds, agriculture, habitat protection, remote sensing imagery, parasitism, forest fragmentation

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • Final Report