Legacy effects of habitat degradation by Lesser Snow Geese on nesting Savannah Sparrows

ABSTRACT Increased growth of the midcontinental population of Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) has led to overgrazing and habitat degradation at their Arctic and sub-Arctic breeding grounds. This habitat degradation has been shown to induce a trophic cascade that negatively affects... Ausführliche Beschreibung

1. Person: Peterson, Stephen L.
Weitere Personen: Rockwell, Robert F.; Witte, Christopher R.; Koons, David N.
Quelle: in The Condor Vol. 116, No. 4 (2014), p. 527-537
Weitere Artikel
Format: Online-Artikel
Sprache: English
Veröffentlicht: 2014
Beschreibung: Online-Ressource
Schlagworte: beneficial climate effects
habitat degradation
hyperabundant species
overabundant species
passerine
trophic cascade
waterfowl
cascade trophique
dégradation de l’habitat
effets bénéfiques du climat
espèce surabondante
passereau
sauvagine
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Anmerkung: Copyright: © 2014 Cooper Ornithological Society
Zusammenfassung: ABSTRACT Increased growth of the midcontinental population of Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) has led to overgrazing and habitat degradation at their Arctic and sub-Arctic breeding grounds. This habitat degradation has been shown to induce a trophic cascade that negatively affects plant, insect, and other avian species that share these habitats. In conjunction with a long-term study of the impacts of Lesser Snow Geese on habitat, we examined the dual influences of climate and long-term habitat change on the nesting occurrence of Savannah Sparrows near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Using multistate occupancy models, we found that variability in early-summer temperature and precipitation modulated year-to-year variability in nesting occurrence and detection probabilities. Extreme warm and wet conditions in early summer can benefit breeding Savannah Sparrows across the landscape. However, such events have not been prevalent enough to override the ~80% decline in Savannah Sparrow nesting occurrence over 36 yr. This dramatic decline can be attributed to the legacy of Lesser Snow Goose foraging, which has led to an 84% reduction in preferred shrub habitat for nesting Savannah Sparrows. Management actions targeted at reducing Lesser Snow Goose abundance and habitat restoration will be needed to allow sympatric Savannah Sparrows and functionally similar species to recover.
ISSN: 1938-5129
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