Bird community patterns of spring-seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands in the Sacramento Valley, California Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1z40kz03x

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  • Freshwater wetlands in the Sacramento Valley provide breeding, wintering, foraging and stopover habitat for migratory and resident birds. With a loss of 95% of historic freshwater wetlands, the restoration of wetlands on private land could provide important habitat for birds. Documentation and monitoring of bird use on previously restored wetlands is needed to improve and guide wetland restoration on private lands in the Sacramento Valley. Bird communities of two types of privately owned, restored wetlands: spring-seasonal and semi-permanent, were compared in the Sacramento Valley of California during the spring and summer of 1998 and 1999. Abundance and richness of bird communities were analyzed by species and according to two assemblage groups based on wetland dependency and general taxonomy. Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling was used to determine if different wetlands contained similar bird communities. Overlays were used to determine relationships between bird communities in ordination space and the environmental variables wetland type, wetland size, season, water depth, surrounding land use and six habitat variables. Both spring-seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands attracted diverse bird communities, but bird community structure differed between spring-seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands. Species richness and abundance were greatest on semi-permanent wetlands. Wetland obligate species, nonwetland species, waterfowl and water birds were more abundant on semi-permanent than on spring-seasonal wetlands. Shorebirds were most abundant on spring-seasonal wetlands. The bird community changed over the season in response to migration patterns. Bird communities also differed according to water depth and wetland size. Wetland obligate and nonwetland species were more abundant on wetlands with trees. Planting trees or pole cuttings is an easy and economical way to facilitate maturation of a restored wetland. For greater biodiversity, wetland restorations in the Sacramento Valley should not promote one type of restoration over the other so long as a reliable source of water is available.
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