Jornada Basin LTER Research

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Dataset: The Effects of Vegetation Composition on the Abundance, Species Diversity and Activity of Birds on the Jornada Basin,1997


   File description including attribute definitions: data_JornadaStudy_121_biodiversity_bird_survey ,    File description including attribute definitions: Bird Species Codes
   Original Investigator: Laura Huenneke
   Duration: 1997 - 1997
   Dataset ID: 210121006
   DOI: 10.6073/pasta/feac2e02535959c1d5bd350b52866a1b
   Abstract:

Changes in plant composition have the potential to cause disturbances in both structure and function throughout the ecosystem. One element of the ecosystem that can be affected is bird diversity and behavior. Certain species of birds depend more, or entirely, on habitats containing specific functional groups or species of vegetation. Habitat preferences in birds develop because of factors such as availability of food, nesting and perching locations, and cover.  Certain species of birds may be generalists while others use a small variety of plants due to strict habitat requirements. In this study we examine how different growth types of plants affect bird abundance, bird species diversity, and bird activity on the Jornada Basin. The experiment took place on the Biodiversity plots (25m X 25m)at the New Mexico State University Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center from June through August 1997. The site contained 6 blocks, each containing 8 treatments, including: control, perennial grass removal, reduced Larrea cover, reduced Prosopis cover, shrub removal, only a single dominant species of each growth form remaining, subshrubs removal, and succulents removal. The following data were recorded in each plot: species type, time spent in plot, type of vegetation utilized, presence of a pair or family group, and behavior. Behaviors recorded included perching, singing, calling, foraging on the ground, foraging in the vegetation, nesting , and preening. Birds were observed in each plot for periods of 35 minutes with a 10 minute acclimation period prior to the start of the observation period. The replications were done according to a predetermined schedule which was developed in such a manner so as to reduce sampling error as much as possible. This study is complete.


   Additional information:

From the stone pillars at the south entrance of the Jornada Experimental Range (USDA), follow the road west approximately 4 miles to the first (wretched) gate on the right (north). Go through this gate approximately one quarter mile, parking spot is on west side of road under power lines. The biodiversity site is on the right (east) side of the road across from the parking spot.

   Methods:

-Observations (using binoculars) of birds and their behavior were recorded on field data sheets.

   Methods:

The treatments consisted of plots of land (25m x25m) which had been altered by removing plant types in a systematic fashion. Species were removed based on plant functional group and species dominance within the community (control, perennial grass removal, reduced Larrea cover, reduced Prosopis cover, shrub removal, only a single dominant species of each growth form remaining, subshrubs removal, and succulents removal). Birds were observed in each plot for periods of 35 minutes with a 10 minute acclimation period prior to the start of the observation period. The acclimation period was meant to allow time for birds to settle and to orient the observer. Observations started at sunrise and ended between and 8:30 and 9:00 am. In all cases, observer movement was coordinated so as not to disturb other observers. Four observers participated each day, each observing a total of four plots. They watched (using binoculars) their assigned plot from a step ladder at the corner of the plot in order to get a better view of the entire plot. Also, in order to help the observers distinguish between adjacent plots, markers were placed around the perimeter of the plots. These markers were put in place the day before and then promptly taken down so that ecosystem function was not disrupted. An attempt was made to choose and place the markers so as not to frighten or attract the birds in any way. The following data were recorded in each plot: species type, time spent in plot, type of vegetation utilized, presence of a pair or family group, and behavior. Behaviors recorded included perching, singing, calling, foraging on the ground, foraging in the vegetation, nesting , and preening. Birds that simply flew over the plot or that landed on the plot boundaries were not counted. There were four replications over the course of ten weeks. The replications were done according to a predetermined schedule which was developed in such a manner so as to reduce sampling error as much as possible. In order to do this, the following were avoided: replications of the same plot at the same time of day, replicating all of the 6 similar treatments on the same day, and having the same observer do more than one of the replications of a single plot.

   Maintenance:

Sampling was done times from July to September 1997 -- Replication 1: July 1,2,3 Replication 2: July 15,16,17 Replication 3: July 24,25,26 Replication 4: September 16,17,18,19,20,21. This study is complete.

   Quality Assurance

The data are a compilation of all observations of the 4 replicates over the entire sampling period across treatments and plots.


Dataset: The Effects of Vegetation Composition on the Abundance, Species Diversity and Activity of Birds on the Jornada Basin,1997


   Download data: Plain text icon BirdSpeciesCodes.txt
   File description including attribute definitions: data_JornadaStudy_121_biodiversity_bird_survey ,    File description including attribute definitions: Bird Species Codes
   Original Investigator: Laura Huenneke
   Duration: 1997 - 1997
   Dataset ID: 210121006
   DOI: 10.6073/pasta/feac2e02535959c1d5bd350b52866a1b
   Abstract:

Changes in plant composition have the potential to cause disturbances in both structure and function throughout the ecosystem. One element of the ecosystem that can be affected is bird diversity and behavior. Certain species of birds depend more, or entirely, on habitats containing specific functional groups or species of vegetation. Habitat preferences in birds develop because of factors such as availability of food, nesting and perching locations, and cover.  Certain species of birds may be generalists while others use a small variety of plants due to strict habitat requirements. In this study we examine how different growth types of plants affect bird abundance, bird species diversity, and bird activity on the Jornada Basin. The experiment took place on the Biodiversity plots (25m X 25m)at the New Mexico State University Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center from June through August 1997. The site contained 6 blocks, each containing 8 treatments, including: control, perennial grass removal, reduced Larrea cover, reduced Prosopis cover, shrub removal, only a single dominant species of each growth form remaining, subshrubs removal, and succulents removal. The following data were recorded in each plot: species type, time spent in plot, type of vegetation utilized, presence of a pair or family group, and behavior. Behaviors recorded included perching, singing, calling, foraging on the ground, foraging in the vegetation, nesting , and preening. Birds were observed in each plot for periods of 35 minutes with a 10 minute acclimation period prior to the start of the observation period. The replications were done according to a predetermined schedule which was developed in such a manner so as to reduce sampling error as much as possible. This study is complete.


   Additional information:

From the stone pillars at the south entrance of the Jornada Experimental Range (USDA), follow the road west approximately 4 miles to the first (wretched) gate on the right (north). Go through this gate approximately one quarter mile, parking spot is on west side of road under power lines. The biodiversity site is on the right (east) side of the road across from the parking spot.

   Methods:

-Observations (using binoculars) of birds and their behavior were recorded on field data sheets.

   Methods:

The treatments consisted of plots of land (25m x25m) which had been altered by removing plant types in a systematic fashion. Species were removed based on plant functional group and species dominance within the community (control, perennial grass removal, reduced Larrea cover, reduced Prosopis cover, shrub removal, only a single dominant species of each growth form remaining, subshrubs removal, and succulents removal). Birds were observed in each plot for periods of 35 minutes with a 10 minute acclimation period prior to the start of the observation period. The acclimation period was meant to allow time for birds to settle and to orient the observer. Observations started at sunrise and ended between and 8:30 and 9:00 am. In all cases, observer movement was coordinated so as not to disturb other observers. Four observers participated each day, each observing a total of four plots. They watched (using binoculars) their assigned plot from a step ladder at the corner of the plot in order to get a better view of the entire plot. Also, in order to help the observers distinguish between adjacent plots, markers were placed around the perimeter of the plots. These markers were put in place the day before and then promptly taken down so that ecosystem function was not disrupted. An attempt was made to choose and place the markers so as not to frighten or attract the birds in any way. The following data were recorded in each plot: species type, time spent in plot, type of vegetation utilized, presence of a pair or family group, and behavior. Behaviors recorded included perching, singing, calling, foraging on the ground, foraging in the vegetation, nesting , and preening. Birds that simply flew over the plot or that landed on the plot boundaries were not counted. There were four replications over the course of ten weeks. The replications were done according to a predetermined schedule which was developed in such a manner so as to reduce sampling error as much as possible. In order to do this, the following were avoided: replications of the same plot at the same time of day, replicating all of the 6 similar treatments on the same day, and having the same observer do more than one of the replications of a single plot.

   Maintenance:

Sampling was done times from July to September 1997 -- Replication 1: July 1,2,3 Replication 2: July 15,16,17 Replication 3: July 24,25,26 Replication 4: September 16,17,18,19,20,21. This study is complete.

   Quality Assurance

The data are a compilation of all observations of the 4 replicates over the entire sampling period across treatments and plots.