Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative
FIA Project 6336006

    Experiments on edge effects in Marbled Murrelets: incorporating reproductive performance into habitat quality [2005 Project Description Only]
 
Imprint: Vancouver, BC: Simon Fraser University, 2005
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative
Description:
The strength of 'edge effects' on Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) nesting success affects the relative murrelet productivity value of sites of different size and spatial configuration. Knowledge of their magnitude therefore informs policy on recognition of the value of existing and proposed Wildlife Habitat Areas and other areas where suitable habitat is maintained. Extremely limited observational data suggest that the magnitude of edge effects may vary as a function of landscape variables; experimental studies in Washington State provide stronger evidence of such variation, with human-occupied edges being the most deleterious. We conducted experiments to determine the potential relative vulnerability to predation and microclimate differences between simulated nest sites located along different kinds of edge versus interior habitat on the Sunshine Coast. Sites were located at natural, regenerating, and recently formed industrial edges around Desolation Sound. Non-trivial negative edge effects are present in the specific sites and landscape studied, and give us, for the first time, an initial look at their potential magnitude in BC. Data from predator surveys were consistent with results from simulated nests. We did not detect differences among edge types, but statistical power was low due to small sample sizes. Microclimate differences were not large. Our techniques work and have sufficient power to detect differences in potential edge effects among landscapes.
Contact: Lank, David B., dlank@sfu.ca

Updated August 16, 2010 

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