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Bird Community Structure in Alder Forests in Washington

Edmund W. Stiles
The Condor
Vol. 82, No. 1 (Feb., 1980), pp. 20-30
DOI: 10.2307/1366781
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1366781
Page Count: 11
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Bird Community Structure in Alder Forests in Washington
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Abstract

Bird communities in forests of Alnus rubra in Washington were studied by analyzing the number and composition of bird species, and their foraging behaviors, along a successional gradient. A model for territorial birds acting as central-place foragers was developed, and it was found that birds respond differently to heterogeneous versus homogeneous changes in vegetation structure. Birds responding to homogeneous vertical increases in vegetation during succession had territories which became more spherical. These changes were accompanied by a decreased use of total leaf area. Energy gain from reduced travel by central-place foragers may account for smaller territories. These changes were not found for birds responding to heterogeneous vegetation change. Additions and subtractions of birds with different methods of foraging are analyzed with respect to specific changes in vegetation structure during succession. It is concluded that such changes alone can account for the addition of bird species and individuals.

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