Selective Logging Effects on Habitat Quality as Determinants of Habitat Occupancy by Acadian Flycatchers

EPA Grant Number: U915020
Title: Selective Logging Effects on Habitat Quality as Determinants of Habitat Occupancy by Acadian Flycatchers
Investigators: Zenitsky, Gary D.
Institution: University of Memphis
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: January 1, 1996 through January 1, 1999
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Ecology and Ecosystems


The objectives of this research project are to: (1) apply extensions of density-dependent habitat selection and central-place foraging theories to determine whether selective logging alters habitat quality enough to influence the distribution of breeding birds among habitat patches in a bottomland hardwood forest; and (2) assess the potential of these patches to satisfy brood-rearing demands, and to serve as source or sink habitats.


All active nests of Acadian Flycatchers were found and monitored on two 50-ha uncut control and two 50-ha select-cut plots. Central-place foraging data were collected from inside a 30-m radius, 15-m high, cylindrical plot centered at a nest. The cylinder includes eight equally spaced 30-m transects. During late brood rearing, I mapped (tape recorded) feeding territory volumes of adult females while video recording nest provisioning by both adults. Afterwards, I recorded both left and right wing lengths of nestlings to calculate bilateral asymmetry as a measure of developmental stress. Arthropod biomass and percent territory openness also were sampled inside the cylindrical plots to represent habitat quality independent of the density and reproductive success of the habitat occupants. Foliage-dwelling arthropods were collected using a 4-m long sweep net to collect 400 sweeps (0 to 6 m high) from live woody foliage and 50 sweeps from dead woody foliage along the eight transects. Biomass was determined from dry weights. Openness was estimated from profiles of woody substrate height, taken every 3 m on the 8 transects by recording a hit/miss for woody vegetation at 1-m height intervals from 0 m to the 15-m ceiling height.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, habitat quality, habitat occupancy, biomass, density-dependent habitat selection., Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Habitat, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Biology, dynamic landscapes, logging, habitat use, terrestrial forests, animal responses, land use effects, avian habitat quality, habitat disturbance, habitat loss, anthropogenic stressors, avian community dynamics, ecological consequences, forage site selection, quality of habitat, birds, breeding distributions, deforestation, Acadian Flycatchers

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • Final