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Migratory shorebird habitat decisions across spatial scales

Conducting behavioral observations of shorebirds in agricultural fields is challenging, as Ryan Stutzman found out.

Duration

January 2010 - December 2013

Narrative

Wetland ecosystems function as important stopover habitats for migratory birds and add significantly to local and regional biodiversity. These ecosystems are increasingly threatened by climate change and the potential synergistic effects of increasing demand for water and invasion by exotic species. We are working to examine the effects of climate and land use change on bird populations and their wetland habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North America by examining the linkages between climate, hydrology, and the biological factors that influence riparian and wetland ecosystem resilience and migratory bird communities. To this end we are developing multi-spatial models that relate habitat decisions of migratory shorebirds to annual and seasonal changes in water resources, and the phenology and growth of wetland plants. By exploring effects of altered climate and habitat conditions on wetland-dependent birds using a holistic approach that incorporates both top-down and bottom-up constraints, we will better predict changes in wetland ecosystems and responses of migratory birds to those changes. This research will assist managers and conservation professionals within federal, state, and nongovernmental organizations concerned with protecting migratory bird species and managing critical wetland habitats.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Stutzman, R.J. and J.J. Fontaine. Ecological traps and behavioral trade-offs in migratory decisions. Behavioral Ecology
  • Stutzman, R.J., and J.J. Fontaine. 2015. Shorebird migration in the face of climate change: potential shifts in migration phenology and resource availability. Pp. 145–159 in E.M. Wood and J.L. Kellermann (editors), Phenological synchrony and bird migration: changing climate and seasonal resources in North America. Studies in Avian Biology (no. 47), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Abstract |  Download  | 

Thesis

  • Stutzman, R.J. 2012. STOPOVER DECISIONS OF MIGRATORY SHOREBIRDS: AN ASSESSMENT OF HABITAT USE, FOOD AVAILABILITY, BEHAVIOR AND PHENOLOGY. M.S. Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Presentations

  • Stutzman, R.L., S.K. Skagen and J.J. Fontaine. 2010. Avian migration in the face of an altered landscape and a changing climate. Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Stutzman, R.L., S.K. Skagen and J.J. Fontaine. 2011. Avian migration in the face of an altered landscape and a changing climate. Cooper Society and Association of Field Ornithologists Joint Meeting, Kearney, NE.
  • Fontaine, J.J. and R.L. Stutzman. 2011. Changing climates and changing landscapes: A migrant bird’s dilemma. Special symposium on migration ecology. Waterbird Society Meeting, Kearney, NE .
  • See All ...
 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 10

Phd Students: 15

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 26

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 35

Scientific Publications: 110

Presentations: 192

 

Personnel

Funding Agencies

  • USGS Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center

Links

Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
  2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  3. U.S. Geological Survey
  4. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  5. Wildlife Management Institute