Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Nebraska
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Nebraska Project


Migratory shorebird habitat decisions across spatial scales

January 2010 - December 2013


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • USGS Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center
Conducting behavioral observations of shorebirds in agricultural fields is challenging, as Ryan Stutzman found out.

Wetland ecosystems function as important stopover habitats for migratory birds and add significantly to local and regional biodiversity. These ecosystems are increasingly threatened by climate change and the potential synergistic effects of increasing demand for water and invasion by exotic species. We are working to examine the effects of climate and land use change on bird populations and their wetland habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North America by examining the linkages between climate, hydrology, and the biological factors that influence riparian and wetland ecosystem resilience and migratory bird communities. To this end we are developing multi-spatial models that relate habitat decisions of migratory shorebirds to annual and seasonal changes in water resources, and the phenology and growth of wetland plants. By exploring effects of altered climate and habitat conditions on wetland-dependent birds using a holistic approach that incorporates both top-down and bottom-up constraints, we will better predict changes in wetland ecosystems and responses of migratory birds to those changes. This research will assist managers and conservation professionals within federal, state, and nongovernmental organizations concerned with protecting migratory bird species and managing critical wetland habitats.

Research Publications Publication Date
Stutzman, R.J., and J.J. Fontaine. 2015. Shorebird migration in the face of climate change: potential shifts in migration phenology and resource availability. Pp. 145–159 in E.M. Wood and J.L. Kellermann (editors), Phenological synchrony and bird migration: changing climate and seasonal resources in North America. Studies in Avian Biology (no. 47), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. | Abstract | Download January 2015
Presentations Presentation Date
Fontaine, J.J. and R.L. Stutzman. 2011. Changing climates and changing landscapes: A migrant bird’s dilemma. Special symposium on migration ecology. Waterbird Society Meeting, Kearney, NE . March 2011
Fontaine, J.J. and R.J. Stutzman. 2011. Changing climates and changing landscapes: A migrant bird’s dilemma. Special symposium on climate change. Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Des Moines, IA. December 2011
Stutzman, R.L., S.K. Skagen and J.J. Fontaine. 2011. Avian migration in the face of an altered landscape and a changing climate. Waterbird Society Meeting, Kearney, NE. March 2011
Stutzman, R.L., S.K. Skagen and J.J. Fontaine. 2011. Avian migration in the face of an altered landscape and a changing climate. Cooper Society and Association of Field Ornithologists Joint Meeting, Kearney, NE. March 2011
Stutzman, R.L., S.K. Skagen and J.J. Fontaine. 2010. Avian migration in the face of an altered landscape and a changing climate. Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Minneapolis, MN. December 2010
Stutzman, R.J., S.K. Skagen and J.J. Fontaine. 2011. Avian migration in the face of an altered landscape and a changing climate. Special symposium on climate change. Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Des Moines, IA. December 2011
Stutzman, R.J. and J.J. Fontaine. 2012. Stopover behaviors of migratory shorebirds: are agricultural fields an avian Qwik-E-Mart? North American Ornithological Conference, Vancouver, Canada August 2012
Fontaine, J.J. and R.J. Stutzman. 2012. The interplay of climate and landuse change: Implications for a long distance migrant. North American Ornithological Conference, Vancouver, Canada August 2012
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Stutzman, R.J. 2012. STOPOVER DECISIONS OF MIGRATORY SHOREBIRDS: AN ASSESSMENT OF HABITAT USE, FOOD AVAILABILITY, BEHAVIOR AND PHENOLOGY. M.S. Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln December 2012