Conservation Biology of Eastern Tallgrass Prairie: Integrating Issues of Management and Restoration for the 21st Century
Herkert, James .
A Comparison of Breeding Bird Communities Among Eastern Tallgrass Prairie Remnants And Restorations In Illinois.
Using data from long-term studies in Illinois, I compare breeding bird communities among remnant and restored tallgrass prairies. Due to habitat fragmentation, prairie remnants in Illinois are generally small and isolated. As a result breeding bird communities within tallgrass prairie remnants are strongly influenced by prairie size, with large prairies sustaining greater numbers of species than smaller prairies. Comparison of species-area relationships for breeding birds and prairie size for 29 prairie remnants and 13 prairie restorations indicates that the species-area relationship for restored prairies is similar to that found for remnant tallgrass prairies within Illinois. At the local scale, long-term monitoring (1995-2006) of tallgrass prairie restorations and remnants at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area (Grundy County, Illinois) shows that bird populations within prairie restorations are dynamic and change through time. Both the maturation of these restorations and the frequency of prescribed fire were found to influence these community changes. Despite their dynamic nature, comparisons of bird communities between these restorations and adjacent prairie remnants shows that bird communities in these restorations are converging on communities in the nearby remnant areas. Over time, community metrics such as dominance-diversity curves and community composition among prairie restorations and prairie remnants are becoming more similar. The dynamic nature of these prairie restorations (and the remnant prairies) creates challenges in defining and measuring desired natural community composition and structure of these bird communities over time.
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1 - The Nature Conservancy, 301 S.W. Adams Street, Suite 1007, Peoria, Illinois, 61602, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Williford B/Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
Time: 2:00 PM