Assessment of Avifauna in North Carolina Piedmont Prairies
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The Piedmont Prairie is an early successional habitat of the southeastern United States, and commonly considered a haven for many threatened avifauna. This study uses a paired sample technique and point counts to compare the species composition of prairie and non-prairie paired sites to determine if there is a significantly different subset of avian species utilizing preserved and restored prairie areas. The study also analyses environmental variables such as land use land cover, vegetation height, site area and distance from urban areas, water, and roads to determine the drivers of any changes seen in the species composition. Mantel tests showed no significant difference in the bird species composition of the prairie sites when compared to the non-prairie sites. Wilcox tests and ANOVAs corroborated this result, showing no significant difference in the total number of species, mean number of species, or species richness (Simpson index) of in prairie / non- prairie areas. Species accumulation curves for the sites revealed that prairie sites showed less variation and saturated less rapidly than their paired non-prairie counterparts, leaving the door open for further studies of longer time scales on the effect of Piedmont Prairies on avifauna diversity.
CitationMakepeace, Conor (2017). Assessment of Avifauna in North Carolina Piedmont Prairies. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/14076.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment