Effects of forest fragmentation on breeding bird communities in Maryland, USA

James F. Lynch, Dennis F. Whigham
1984 Biological Conservation  
Point surveys were used to estimate the abundance and diversity of jbrest birds in relation to the size, degree of isolation,floristics, physiognomy, and successional maturity of 270 upland forest patches in the coastal plain province of Maryland. Physiognomic and floristic characteristics of the tree, shrub, and herb layers of the jbrest were measured at each site. The local abundance of almost every bird species breeding in the interior of upland forests was found to be significantly
more » ... d by forest area, isolation, structure, or floristics, or combinations of these factors. Highly migratory species tended to be most abundant in extensive stands of mature, floristically diverse Jorests that were only slightly isolated from sources of potential colonists. Densities of permanent residents and short-distance migrants tended to be less affected by these site characteristics, or showed responses opposite in sign to those of longdistance migrants. The impacts of forest fragmentation on bird populations are complex and species-specific. Many bird species respond strongly to factors other than, or in addition to,Jorest patch area and isolation. Dissection of the landscape into small highly isolated patches of forest adversely affects some bird species, but structural and floristic characteristics of the forest are more important than patch size and isolation for many species, given the existing distribution of forest patches in the coastal plain of Maryland.
doi:10.1016/0006-3207(84)90039-9 fatcat:u45y22qouvbuvklf4qol6w3dre