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Landscape Ecosystems of Northern Lower Michigan and the Occurrence and Management of the Kirtland's Warbler

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The Kirtland's warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii Baird) is an endangered songbird that nests in northern Lower Michigan in ecosystems dominated by young jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.). An ecological, multifactor approach was used to determine the range and characteristics of landform-level ecosystems supporting the warbler and to compare the spatial and temporal patterns of warbler occupation among these ecosystems. Using an ecosystem rather than a strictly biological approach, the landforms occupied by the warbler are very diverse. Twelve landforms were identified based on 61 sites currently or formerly occupied by the warbler. Average annual jack pine height growth, an indicator of stand structural features that influences initial warbler colonization and duration of occupancy, differed significantly among landforms, resulting in marked differences in warbler occurrence in time and space across the breeding range. Landforms with favorable growing conditions for jack pine were colonized earliest and were occupied for the shortest duration, whereas landforms with unfavorable growing conditions were colonized relatively late but were occupied longest. Different ecological factors, such as the spatial position of landforms, microclimate, soil texture, or a combination of these factors, may account for favorable or unfavorable growing conditions for jack pine, which in turn affects the timing and duration of warbler occupancy. The classification and description of ecosystems occupied by the warbler provides an ecological framework for warbler management, especially when plantations rather than wildfire are the primary source of warbler habitat. FOR. SCI. 49(1):140–159.

Keywords: Ecosystem classification; endangered species; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; jack pine; landforms; natural resource management; natural resources; physiography

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Research Assistant School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Current Address: Departments of Zoology and Forest Ecology and Management, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, Phone: (608) 265 2: Stephen H. Spurr Professor of Forest Ecology School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1115, Phone: (734) 764-1407; Fax: (313) 936-2195 3: Research Assistant School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1115, Phone: (734) 763-3157

Publication date: 2003-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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