Considering Spatial Scale and Reproductive Consequences of Habitat Selection when Managing Grasslands for a Threatened Species

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/618962
Title:
Considering Spatial Scale and Reproductive Consequences of Habitat Selection when Managing Grasslands for a Threatened Species
Author:
Pearson, Scott F.; Knapp, Shannon M.
Affiliation:
Univ Arizona, Stat Consulting Lab, Inst Bio5
Issue Date:
2016-06-20
Publisher:
Public Library of Science
Citation:
Considering Spatial Scale and Reproductive Consequences of Habitat Selection when Managing Grasslands for a Threatened Species 2016, 11 (6):e0156330 PLOS ONE
Journal:
PLOS ONE
Rights:
© 2016 Pearson, Knapp. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Collection Information:
This item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at repository@u.library.arizona.edu.
Abstract:
Habitat selection that has fitness consequences has important implications for conservation activities. For example, habitat characteristics that influence nest success in birds can be manipulated to improve habitat quality with the goal of ultimately improving reproductive success. We examined habitat selection by the threatened streaked horned lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata) at both the breeding-site (territory) and nest-site scales. Larks were selective at both spatial scales but with contrasting selection. At the territory scale, male larks selected sparsely vegetated grasslands with relatively short vegetation. At the nestsite scale, female larks selected sites within territories with higher vegetation density and more perennial forbs. These nest-site scale choices had reproductive consequences, with greater nest success in areas with higher densities of perennial forbs. We experimentally manipulated lark habitat structure in an attempt to mimic the habitat conditions selected by larks by using late summer prescribed fires. After the burn, changes in vegetation structure were in the direction preferred by larks but habitat effects attenuated by the following year. Our results highlight the importance of evaluating habitat selection at spatial scales appropriate to the species of interest, especially when attempting to improve habitat quality for rare and declining species. They also highlight the importance of conducting restoration activities in a research context. For example, because the sparsely vegetated conditions created by fire attenuate, there may be value in examining more frequent burns or hotter fires as the next management and research action. We hope the design outlined in this study will serve as an integrated research and management example for conserving grassland birds generally.
Note:
Open Access Journal
ISSN:
1932-6203
PubMed ID:
27322196
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0156330
Version:
Final published version
Sponsors:
Center for Natural Lands Management [CNLM WA-C-2014-029-0]; Nature Conservancy [WAFO-98-04105, WAFO-96-032305]; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Washington Field Office recovery funds [13410-1-J023 - $58,697]; Washington Department of Transportation [GCA3226 - $10,000]; Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Washington Department of Natural Resources; US Fish and Wildlife Service western Washington field office; Joint Base Lewis-McChord
Additional Links:
http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0156330

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorPearson, Scott F.en
dc.contributor.authorKnapp, Shannon M.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-08-27T01:04:41Z-
dc.date.available2016-08-27T01:04:41Z-
dc.date.issued2016-06-20-
dc.identifier.citationConsidering Spatial Scale and Reproductive Consequences of Habitat Selection when Managing Grasslands for a Threatened Species 2016, 11 (6):e0156330 PLOS ONEen
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203-
dc.identifier.pmid27322196-
dc.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0156330-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/618962-
dc.description.abstractHabitat selection that has fitness consequences has important implications for conservation activities. For example, habitat characteristics that influence nest success in birds can be manipulated to improve habitat quality with the goal of ultimately improving reproductive success. We examined habitat selection by the threatened streaked horned lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata) at both the breeding-site (territory) and nest-site scales. Larks were selective at both spatial scales but with contrasting selection. At the territory scale, male larks selected sparsely vegetated grasslands with relatively short vegetation. At the nestsite scale, female larks selected sites within territories with higher vegetation density and more perennial forbs. These nest-site scale choices had reproductive consequences, with greater nest success in areas with higher densities of perennial forbs. We experimentally manipulated lark habitat structure in an attempt to mimic the habitat conditions selected by larks by using late summer prescribed fires. After the burn, changes in vegetation structure were in the direction preferred by larks but habitat effects attenuated by the following year. Our results highlight the importance of evaluating habitat selection at spatial scales appropriate to the species of interest, especially when attempting to improve habitat quality for rare and declining species. They also highlight the importance of conducting restoration activities in a research context. For example, because the sparsely vegetated conditions created by fire attenuate, there may be value in examining more frequent burns or hotter fires as the next management and research action. We hope the design outlined in this study will serve as an integrated research and management example for conserving grassland birds generally.en
dc.description.sponsorshipCenter for Natural Lands Management [CNLM WA-C-2014-029-0]; Nature Conservancy [WAFO-98-04105, WAFO-96-032305]; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Washington Field Office recovery funds [13410-1-J023 - $58,697]; Washington Department of Transportation [GCA3226 - $10,000]; Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Washington Department of Natural Resources; US Fish and Wildlife Service western Washington field office; Joint Base Lewis-McChorden
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherPublic Library of Scienceen
dc.relation.urlhttp://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0156330en
dc.rights© 2016 Pearson, Knapp. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.en
dc.titleConsidering Spatial Scale and Reproductive Consequences of Habitat Selection when Managing Grasslands for a Threatened Speciesen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniv Arizona, Stat Consulting Lab, Inst Bio5en
dc.identifier.journalPLOS ONEen
dc.description.noteOpen Access Journalen
dc.description.collectioninformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at repository@u.library.arizona.edu.en
dc.eprint.versionFinal published versionen

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