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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Avian response to harvesting switchgrass for biomass in southern Iowa
Year: 2002
Author(s): Murray, L. D.
Source Title:
Source Type: Thesis
pages: 94
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Grassland birds are declining across North America at a faster rate than any other group of species). Habitat loss and fragmentation through increased rowcrop production and urbanization are considered a major reason for the decline of grassland birds. Most of the grassland habitat in the Midwest is agricultural land (e.g., pastures, hayfields). Nesting success in these agricultural lands, however, is lowered because of grazing and mowing. The harvest of biomass fields would not directly affect nest success because fields are harvested in fall and winter. Bird abundances in switchgrass fields, however, would be affected by the harvest because of changes in vegetation structure. Evaluating the effects of biomass harvest on bird communities in switchgrass fields would help land managers to minimize potential negative effects to birds as biomass production continues. This study compares bird abundance and nest success among harvested and non-harvested switchgrass fields in southern Iowa
Publisher: Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa