ABSTRACT

Floodplain forests of large rivers in the midwestern United States are naturally fragmented by sloughs, backwaters, wetlands, and shrub carr. On the highly altered Upper Mississippi River (UMR), resource managers want to protect and manage floodplain forests to benefit forest “interior” bird species. To discover bird relations with interior and edge floodplain forest, we characterized bird assemblages during spring migration and breeding season in 3 forest types: habitat in the interior of forest areas > 100 m from an edge, edges associated with interior areas, and other areas of forest not associated with an interior area (random sites) on the UMR between Hastings and Red Wing, Minnesota. The random sites represent the majority of UMR floodplain forest area because only a small percentage of forest occurs >100 m from edge. Estimated habitat characteristics did not differ among interior, edge, and random sites. Bird relative abundance, species richness, diversity, assemblage composition, and detections of all but one species (in spring) did not differ among interior, edge, and random sites during both seasons. Our results suggest a homogeneous bird assemblage across UMR floodplain forest in the study area during spring migration and the breeding season, and that individual forest bird species do not seem to be more abundant in interior or edge areas as we defined them.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.