This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that bird community structure varies significantly between areas which are prone versus not prone to disturbance within the land-water interface of a prairie lake. On-site assessment of land cover and a Geographic Information System (GIS) with coverages of slope, soil erodability, soil hydrologic group and drainages were used to delineate sites prone and not prone to non-point source disturbance. Habitat and community attributes were examined within these site classes during the summer of 1995. While habitat differences between classes (prone and not prone) were inconclusive, results of avian community analyses indicated that sites prone to disturbance had significantly higher average densities (69 individuals/ha vs. 56), species richness (10.9 vs. 8.1 species) and diversity (H’=2.05 vs. 1.72) than sites not prone to disturbance. These results are consistent with observations of other ecological communities exposed to intermediate levels of disturbance. Furthermore, these results suggest a relationship between GIS generated nonpoint source disturbance potential and ecological communities within the landwater interface.
Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science
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Bakker, Kristel K. and Troelstrup, N. H. Jr., "Patterns in Avian Community Structure and Non-Point Source Disturbance Potential Along the Land-Water Interface of a Prairie Pothole Lake" (1998). Oak Lake Field Station Research Publications. 1.