Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Andrew George

Second Advisor

Dr. Neil Snow

Third Advisor

Dr. Ananda Jayawardhana

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Paul Porneluzi


Over the past 50 years, significant declines in 47% of Neotropical migrant bird species have been documented in North America. Declines are most likely due to the loss and fragmentation of breeding, wintering, and stopover habitat mainly caused by agriculture and urban development. This loss of critical habitat results in population sinks that need to be maintained by immigration from a population source found in continuously forested landscapes. However, in landscapes harvested for timber, forest management practices alter the landscape and as a result, affect breeding bird abundances and nest success. The objective of our study was to determine the effects that forest management has on the densities and nest success of breeding birds. Territory density and nest success data were compiled from nine landscape-scale experimental forest plots in the Ozark Highlands region of southeast Missouri. We fit linear mixed models of the relationships between territory densities and predictor variables that represented habitat structure, silvicultural treatment type, and time period. We also fit generalized linear models of the relationship between nest success and predictor variables that represented edge density, silvicultural treatment type, time period, nest stage, and day of season. For territory densities, we fund support for models that included habitat structure, time period, and silvicultural treatment as predictors of 7 focal species. Mature-forest species typically responded to habitat structure, whereas shrubland species responded to prescribed silvicultural treatment. For nest success, We found support for models that included edge density, time period, nest stage, and day of season for Acadian flycatcher and indigo bunting nest success. Acadian flycatcher nest success decreased with increases in edge density. Our findings demonstrate that forest management affects abundances and nest success and that habitat structure variables and edge effects should be considered when managing breeding birds in upland hardwood forests.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.