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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Influence of Water Retention Structures and Associated Riparian Zones on Avian Communities with Agricultural and Forested Sites

item Maul, Jonathan
item Cooper, Charles

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) is primarily an agricultural landscape interspersed with stands of bottomland hardwood forest and characterized by highly erosive alluvial soils. Construction of small scale earthen dams and installation of water retention structures are current manipulative techniques to control soil loss and reduce flooding in the MAV. Consequently, these actions result in added pool stability within intermittent streams and support riparian habitats. We investigated the response of summer avian communities to these enhanced riparian habitats within hardwood stands (31-45 ha) and agricultural sites. Specifically, we compared mean species richness and abundance from census points at variable distances (0, 100, and 200 m) from the stream bank into the encompassing habitat. Between habitats, mean species richness was greater (P<0.05) at points associated with bottomland hardwood riparian habitats than those intersecting agricultural fields. Distance from the stream bank did not influence (P>0.05) avian community parameters but an interaction of distance from stream bank and habitat was detected (P<0.05). Both mean species richness and abundance were greater (P<0.05) at the stream than points located 100 and 200 m into agricultural fields. We suggest that the small (<10 m) riparian zones associated with field streams provide habitat for some species and may act as potential corridors. In addition, it appeared that stream creation within forest stands did not influence the measured avian community parameters.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015
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