Wetland assessment techniques have generally focused on rapid evaluations of local and site impacts; however, wetland biodiversity is often influenced both by adjacent and regional land use. Forty wetlands were studied in the Red River Valley (RRV), Southwest Prairie (SWP), and the Northern Hardwood Forest (NHF) ecoregions of Minnesota, USA, to assess the strength of association between local and landscape condition and avian community composition. We examined the relationship between bird assemblages and local and landscape factors (connectedness, isolation, road density, and site impacts). Landscape variables were calculated for three spatial scales at 500 m (79 ha), 1000 m (314 ha), and 2500 m (1963 ha). Connectedness and road density are important measures for predicting bird assemblages in both agricultural ecoregions (SWP and RRV). Connectedness and its relationship with wetland bird assemblages were most pronounced at the larger scale (2500 m), where the largest remnant patches can be discerned. In contrast, road effects on bird assemblages were most pronounced at the smallest scale (500 m). Wetland isolation corresponded to bird community patterns as well, but only in one ecoregion (SWP). In the urbanizing ecoregion (NHF), species richness was considerably lower than elsewhere but community patterns did not correspond to landscape variables. The focus of wetland conservation planning needs to shift from the site scale to the landscape scale to ensure that connection with the regional wetland pattern is accounted for, therefore, affording the best opportunity to successfully maintain wetland avian diversity. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding was provided by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources and the US Geological Survey Water Resources Research Initiative.
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- Land use
- Wetland conservation