, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 447–459 | Cite as

Influence of Local, Landscape, and Regional Variables on Sedge and Marsh Wren Occurrence in Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands

  • Hannah G. PanciEmail author
  • Gerald J. Niemi
  • Ronald R. Regal
  • Douglas C. Tozer
  • Thomas M. Gehring
  • Robert W. Howe
  • Christopher J. Norment
Original Research


We determined the influence of habitat, landscape, geographic, and climate variables on Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis) and Marsh Wren (C. palustris) occurrence in 840 coastal wetland survey points throughout the Great Lakes. Variables included surrounding land use and configuration out to 2000 m; latitude; longitude; temperature; precipitation; and vegetation characteristics within 100 m. Classification trees predicted Sedge Wren occurrence at points in the western Great Lakes with < 11 km of roads within 1000 m. Emergent herbaceous wetland within 500 m, woody wetland within various distances, and sedge within 100 m were also positively associated with Sedge Wren occurrence. Marsh Wren occurrence was predicted at points in the southern Great Lakes with < 42% developed land within 500 m. Emergent herbaceous wetland within 500 m, cropland within various distances, and cattail within 100 m were also positively associated with Marsh Wren occurrence. Our results suggest limiting development around wetlands is important for conserving these bird species throughout Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Landscape-scale land cover variables are easily obtainable and significantly increase our ability to predict occurrence of these species across a broad geographic scale.


Birds Great Lakes coastal wetlands Landscape context Bird-habitat relationships Cistothorus platensis Cistothorus palustris 



This research was supported by 1) a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Great Lakes Environmental Indicators (EPA/R-8286750), 2) a Contract from the United States Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program Office to Central Michigan University and the University of Minnesota-Duluth for GLIC: Implementing Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring (GL-00E00612), and 3) a Grant from United States Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program Office to University of Minnesota-Duluth for GLIC-GLEI II Indicator Testing and Refinement (GL-00E00623). We thank Tom Hollenhorst and Julie Etterson for their contribution. This is contribution number 618 of the Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota-Duluth.


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannah G. Panci
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gerald J. Niemi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ronald R. Regal
    • 3
  • Douglas C. Tozer
    • 4
  • Thomas M. Gehring
    • 5
  • Robert W. Howe
    • 6
  • Christopher J. Norment
    • 7
  1. 1.Natural Resources Research InstituteUniversity of MinnesotaDuluthUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of MinnesotaDuluthUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of MinnesotaDuluthUSA
  4. 4.Bird Studies CanadaPort RowanCanada
  5. 5.Department of BiologyCentral Michigan UniversityMount PleasantUSA
  6. 6.Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, Cofrin Center for BiodiversityUniversity of WisconsinGreen BayUSA
  7. 7.Department of Environmental Science and Biology, The College at BrockportState University of New YorkBrockportUSA

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