Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Biology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Nels H. Troelstrup, Jr.


This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that bird community attributes, i.e., avian density, species richness and response guild structure are significantly different at areas prone versus not prone to disturbance from nonpoint source pollution within the land-water interface of a prairie lake in eastern South Dakota. Sites with high and low disturbance potential (i.e., prone and not prone) from nonpoint source pollution were delineated using a Geographical Information System with coverages for slope, land use, erodibility of soil, hydrologic soil type and drainages. The avian community was censused during the summer of 1995. Results indicated that the sites prone to disturbance from nonpoint source pollution had significantly higher densities, species richness and diversity (H'=2.05 vs H'=l.72) and more individuals present from several guild categories (general carnivores, omnivores, short distance migrants and habitat edge species) than sites not prone to disturbance. While habitat sampling indicated no significant differences between treatments, the results support the presence of an intermediate level of disturbance which is keeping the sites with high disturbance potential at an earlier sere of succession. The prone sites may have more niches available and a more diverse habitat, allowing for the colonization of more avian species.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bird populations -- South Dakota -- Oak Lake
Birds -- Effect of water pollution on -- South Dakota -- Oak Lake
Nonpoint source pollution -- South Dakota -- Oak Lake




South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright