BS in Biological Sciences
Biological Sciences Department
I investigated the abundance and diversity of riparian and oak woodland birds in a section of the Los Padres National Forest in Coastal Central California. Point counts were conducted in Oak Woodland and Riparian habitats during the summer of 2012. Point counts were replicated in time (2x) and space (25 replicates). The data were analyzed using Program Distance to correct for differing detection probabilities between species and habitat types. The two habitat types showed no significant difference in species richness. For most species, there was no difference in density between riparian and oak woodland habitats. However, the two species with significantly different densities between the habitats showed higher densities in the oak woodland habitats. Other analysis showed that seasonal behavioral changes may affect the detection probability of some, but not all, bird species over the course of the breeding season. The lack of significant differences in the densities of most species between habitats may suggest that that habitat associations in the study area were not strong or that inland birds can survive equally well in either type of habitat. If this is the case, oak woodland habitats may serve as a reservoir to maintain avian diversity in the rapidly declining riparian habitats of California.