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Monday, January 29 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Songbird Responses to Drought Conditions with Temporal Scale Considerations

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AUTHORS. Samantha Cady, Tim O'Connell - Oklahoma State University

ABSTRACT. A predicted effect of anthropogenic climate change is an increase in frequency, duration, and magnitude of weather extremes, including drought events. Drought can be assessed at multiple temporal scales, each of which relates to a different water source. For example, drought quantified at an annual scale corresponds with groundwater availability while drought quantified at a monthly scale relates to soil moisture and surface flow. This study leverages a long-term, citizen science dataset (Breeding Bird Survey) to determine whether there are detectible songbird responses during drought conditions, and if so, at what temporal scale they occur.  To account for observer bias and differing land cover at route locations, we used generalized linear mixed modeling with random effects observer identification and route location. Drought conditions were quantified using PRSIM data and a standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index.  We applied AIC model ranking to determine which drought scale best explained the distribution of birds at the species level. Results show a mixed response among species with the strongest signal at an annual or near-annual scale.  Some birds did not show a response to drought conditions at any scale.  For species that showed a response to drought conditions, we also used dynamic occupancy modeling to determine whether drought conditions were associated with a change in local colonization or extinction rates. Some species showed a significant effect of drought on colonization and/or extinction rates, while others did not.  Results indicate a complex relationship between drought conditions and songbird distribution.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm CST