First Advisor

Richard B. Forbes

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology






Birds -- Oregon -- Multnomah County, Forest plants -- Oregon -- Multnomah County, Forest ecology -- Oregon -- Multnomah County



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, 40 p.)


The effect of contiguous forested habitat area on local avian diversity and species richness in the Tualatin Mountain area of northwestern Oregon was investigated. Observations of eight forested stands representing seven area values (1, 2, 7, 14, 18, 24 and 40 hectares) were made during the spring and summer of 1991 and 1992. The variables measured were chosen in an attempt to show possible relationships between vegetation factors, spatial patterns and bird communities. Kendall's rank correlation coefficients were used to analyze the data. Avian species richness and diversity were significantly correlated with forest stand (patch) size. The only significant correlation between avian species richness and diversity and vegetation measures was with percent shrub layer cover. It seems likely that avian diversity and richness are increased due to the presence of species that can utilize the interior and edges of forest stands along with species which depend upon true forested interior. When forested patch size drops below a critical area, the patch becomes all edge. Interior species are absent due to increased predation and the inability to compete with interior-edge species. Edge effect may be a contributing factor to variation in diversity of birds. The correlation of percent shrub layer cover with avian measures is accompanied by a correlation of percent shrub layer cover with distance from edge. This suggests further investigation is required to assess this relationship. Studies conducted in the northeastern and north central United States have shown a similar relationship between bird communities and forest patch size.


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