2015
DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.1194v1 View full text |Buy / Rent full text
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Abstract: Irrigation in desert ecosystems can either reduce or increase species diversity. Groundwater pumping often lowers water tables and reduces natural wetlands, while canal irrigation often creates mesic habitat, resulting in great increases in avian diversity from irrigation. Here we use remotely-sensed data sets to show that 60% of the land in the coastal plain of southern Sonora and northern Sinaloa lying below 200m elevation has been converted by irrigation to more mesic habitats. We then use the record of bir… Show more

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“…To calculate abundance indices, we referenced Painted Bunting collections against the combined records of species collected using similar methods. We follow Rohwer et al 2012 in including other taxa commonly collected with mist-nets and small-bore shotguns: Passerines (order Passeriformes), Cuckoos (order Cuculiformes), and Woodpeckers (order Piciformes; family Picidae). While abundance index values are sensitive to reference specimen selection and collection bias (e.g., collectors disproportionately targeting rare species), we believe the high species diversity and large number (>245,000) of specimens included in our reference specimen database minimize the influence of this shortcoming on our conclusions.…”
Section: Manuscript To Be Reviewedmentioning
“…This crucial effort measure can be generated from electronic natural history museum catalogs (such as VertNet.org) by aggregating records of specimens from a particular region and time period that are expected to have been collected in a similar manner to the focal species of a study. Abundance indices have been successfully applied to show molt migration (Barry et al 2009), population dynamics in medicinal plants (Miki et al 2000), migratory double-breeding (Rohwer et al 2012), and changes in community composition from massive environmental pertubations (Rohwer et al 2015). A logical extension of these analyses is to examine spatial and temporal changes in abundance index values to infer month-to-month population-level movements, which has historically been difficult for small, highly mobile species such as migratory birds.…”
Section: Introductionmentioning
“…These high densities of burrowing owls in the southern portions of the species' range are all in arid desert areas that have been converted to irrigated agriculture. High densities of breeding burrowing owls in this portion of their range is a recent phenomenon; more than 1.5 million hectares of coastal thornscrub and tropical dry forest in Sonora and Sinaloa were converted to irrigated farmland in the last 60 years (Anonymous, 1994; Rohwer, Grason, & Navarro‐Sigüenza, 2015). This redistribution of burrowing owls (the breeding range contracting in the north and expanding in the south) poses interesting questions about the mechanisms that shape and maintain the geographic range of the species especially given that many other birds in North America are showing opposite trends (ranges shifting northward) in response to climate change (La Sorte & Thompson, 2007).…”
Section: Introductionmentioning
“…These indices were produced on a relatively fine spatial scale for Mexico (see section GIS below), but were only produced on a country-wide level for Central America, due to limitations in properly georeferenced in the VertNet data. To calculate abundance indices, we referenced Painted Bunting collections against the combined records of species collected using similar methods, as in Rohwer et al 2012: Passerines (order Passeriformes), Cuckoos (order Cuculiformes), and Woodpeckers (order Piciformes; family Picidae).…”
Section: Calculating Abundance Indices To Track Spatial and Temporalmentioning
“…These abundance indices are calculated by use of electronic natural history museum catalogs (such as VertNet.org) to aggregate records of specimens from a particular region and time period that are expected to have been collected in a similar manner to the focal species of a study. Abundance indices have been successfully applied to show molt migration (Barry et al 2009), population dynamics in medicinal plants (Miki et al 2000), and in assessing migratory double-breeding (Rohwer et al 2012) and changes in community composition from massive environmental pertubations (Rohwer et al 2015). A logical extension of these analyses is to examine spatial and temporal changes in abundance index values to infer month-to-month population-level movements, where technology, cost and unpredictable behavior often prohibit geotagging individuals.…”
Section: Introductionmentioning