Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

2017

School

School of Health Sciences

Major

Zoology; Mathematics

Keywords

Dickcissel, population modeling, tallgrass prairie

Disciplines

Population Biology

Abstract

Grassland songbird populations have declined due to poor rangeland management and habitat fragmentation. Few studies have taken into account variation in climatic conditions in tallgrass prairie systems when determining the factors contributing to songbird reproductive success. During a six year study we measured reproductive success in Dickcissels on five rangeland treatments. We estimated daily survival rates (DSRs) and linked estimates of daily survival to rangeland management type and climate data. DSRs were best predicted by the model including mean temperature, winter season precipitation, and interactions, which had 7.5 times more support than the constant model. Mean annual temperature was negatively correlated with daily survival rates. Thus climate conditions play important roles in the health and stability of grassland songbird populations.

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