Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Habitat contributions to biodiversity trends at a subcontinental extent
by Napoletano, Brian M., Ph.D., Purdue University, 2011, 492; 3477713
Abstract (Summary)

The extent to which humanity's metabolism of natural resources has impacted the biosphere is significant. After discussing the global state of biodiversity, I use the 1992 National Land Cover Dataset and the North American Breeding Bird Survey to examine how avian species richness responds to habitat-level factors across the conterminous United States, and find a significant relationship between land-cover and species richness. I then use BBS data to examine whether species richness changes over time by examining trends in species richness on 554 routes surveyed continuously between 1990 and 2006. A linear regression analysis indicates a slight increase in species richness over this interval, but the spatial and frequency distributions of this change suggest the possibility that species richness attains a level of dynamic equilibrium in the absence of human disturbances. These two studies reinforce the need for integrative approaches to the measurement of multiple dimensions of biodiversity simultaneously, leading to a discussion of the role that the biophony, as a measure of biotic activity in the soundscape, could play as a multidimensional measure of biodiversity. In addition to facilitating transitions across spatial and temporal scales in biodiversity studies, the biophony of different habitats may offer unique information about the physiology, intraspecific communication, interspecific interactions, and responses of groups of organisms to anthropogenic disturbances. This information could foster a deeper understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics of biodiversity, and could facilitate a perceptual shift that re-couples human and biophysical systems.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pijanowski, Bryan C.
Commitee: Dunning, John B., Holland, Jeffrey D., Krause, Bernard L.
School: Purdue University
Department: Forestry and Natural Resources
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Ecology, Geographic information science, Conservation
Keywords: Biodiversity, Biogeography, Birds, Habitat complexity, North America, Species richness
Publication Number: 3477713
ISBN: 978-1-124-94535-4
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