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Differential post-fledging habitat use of Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds within an urbanized landscape

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Abstract
Background: Persistent declines in migratory songbird populations continue to motivate research exploring contributing factors to inform conservation efforts. Nearctic-Neotropical migratory species' population declines have been linked to habitat loss and reductions in habitat quality due to increasing urbanization in areas used throughout the annual cycle. Despite an increase in the number of studies on post-fledging ecology, generally characterized by the period between fledging and dispersal from natal areas or migration, contextual research linking post-fledging survival and habitat use to anthropogenic factors remains limited. Methods: Here, we examined habitat use of post-fledging habitat-generalist gray catbirds (Dumetella caroliniensis), and habitat-specialist wood thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina), up to 88 days after fledging within an urbanized landscape. These Neotropical migratory species share many life-history traits, exhibit differential degrees of habitat specialization, and co-occur in urbanized landscapes. Starting from daily movement data, we used time-integrated Brownian bridges to generate probability density functions of each species' probability of occurrence, and home range among 16 land cover classes including roads from the US Geological Survey National Land Cover Database for each species. Results: Habitat use differed between pre-and post-independence periods. After controlling for factors that influence habitat use (i.e., pre- or post-independence period, fate (whether individuals survived or not), and land cover class), we found that wood thrushes occupied home ranges containing six times more forest land cover than catbirds. In contrast, catbirds occupied home ranges containing twice the area of roads compared to wood thrushes. Wood thrushes had greater variance for area used (km(2)) among land cover classes within home ranges compared to catbirds. However, once fledglings achieved independence from parents, wood thrushes had lower variance associated with area used compared to catbirds. Conclusions: Our findings support predictions that habitat-generalist gray catbirds spend more time in developed areas, less time in forest habitat, and use areas with more roads than the forest-specialist wood thrush. We found strong effects of pre-and post-independence periods on all of the response variables we tested. Species-specific habitat use patterns will likely be affected by projected increases in urbanization over the next several decades leading to further reductions in available forest habitat and increased road density, and will have important implications for the ecology and conservation of these birds.
Keywords
Brownian bridge, Dumetella caroliniensis, Gray catbird, Hylocichla mustelina, Radio telemetry, Wood thrush, OVENBIRDS SEIURUS-AUROCAPILLA, SPACE USE, POPULATION DECLINES, MOVEMENT ECOLOGY, BREEDING HABITAT, NESTING ECOLOGY, UNITED-STATES, ANNUAL CYCLE, TRADE-OFF, SURVIVAL

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Citation

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Chicago
Ladin, Zachary S, Steffie Van Nieuland, Solny A Adalsteinsson, Vincent D’Amico, Jacob L Bowman, Jeffrey J Buler, Jan Baetens, Bernard De Baets, and W Gregory Shriver. 2018. “Differential Post-fledging Habitat Use of Nearctic-Neotropical Migratory Birds Within an Urbanized Landscape.” Movement Ecology 6.
APA
Ladin, Z. S., Van Nieuland, S., Adalsteinsson, S. A., D’Amico, V., Bowman, J. L., Buler, J. J., Baetens, J., et al. (2018). Differential post-fledging habitat use of Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds within an urbanized landscape. MOVEMENT ECOLOGY, 6.
Vancouver
1.
Ladin ZS, Van Nieuland S, Adalsteinsson SA, D’Amico V, Bowman JL, Buler JJ, et al. Differential post-fledging habitat use of Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds within an urbanized landscape. MOVEMENT ECOLOGY. 2018;6.
MLA
Ladin, Zachary S, Steffie Van Nieuland, Solny A Adalsteinsson, et al. “Differential Post-fledging Habitat Use of Nearctic-Neotropical Migratory Birds Within an Urbanized Landscape.” MOVEMENT ECOLOGY 6 (2018): n. pag. Print.
@article{8579009,
  abstract     = {Background: Persistent declines in migratory songbird populations continue to motivate research exploring contributing factors to inform conservation efforts. Nearctic-Neotropical migratory species' population declines have been linked to habitat loss and reductions in habitat quality due to increasing urbanization in areas used throughout the annual cycle. Despite an increase in the number of studies on post-fledging ecology, generally characterized by the period between fledging and dispersal from natal areas or migration, contextual research linking post-fledging survival and habitat use to anthropogenic factors remains limited. 
Methods: Here, we examined habitat use of post-fledging habitat-generalist gray catbirds (Dumetella caroliniensis), and habitat-specialist wood thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina), up to 88 days after fledging within an urbanized landscape. These Neotropical migratory species share many life-history traits, exhibit differential degrees of habitat specialization, and co-occur in urbanized landscapes. Starting from daily movement data, we used time-integrated Brownian bridges to generate probability density functions of each species' probability of occurrence, and home range among 16 land cover classes including roads from the US Geological Survey National Land Cover Database for each species. 
Results: Habitat use differed between pre-and post-independence periods. After controlling for factors that influence habitat use (i.e., pre- or post-independence period, fate (whether individuals survived or not), and land cover class), we found that wood thrushes occupied home ranges containing six times more forest land cover than catbirds. In contrast, catbirds occupied home ranges containing twice the area of roads compared to wood thrushes. Wood thrushes had greater variance for area used (km(2)) among land cover classes within home ranges compared to catbirds. However, once fledglings achieved independence from parents, wood thrushes had lower variance associated with area used compared to catbirds. 
Conclusions: Our findings support predictions that habitat-generalist gray catbirds spend more time in developed areas, less time in forest habitat, and use areas with more roads than the forest-specialist wood thrush. We found strong effects of pre-and post-independence periods on all of the response variables we tested. Species-specific habitat use patterns will likely be affected by projected increases in urbanization over the next several decades leading to further reductions in available forest habitat and increased road density, and will have important implications for the ecology and conservation of these birds.},
  articleno    = {17},
  author       = {Ladin, Zachary S and Van Nieuland, Steffie and Adalsteinsson, Solny A and D{\textquoteright}Amico, Vincent and Bowman, Jacob L and Buler, Jeffrey J and Baetens, Jan and De Baets, Bernard and Shriver, W Gregory},
  issn         = {2051-3933},
  journal      = {MOVEMENT ECOLOGY},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {13},
  title        = {Differential post-fledging habitat use of Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds within an urbanized landscape},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40462-018-0132-6},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2018},
}

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