, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 280–292 | Cite as

Effects of bird community dynamics on the seasonal distribution of cultural ecosystem services

  • Rose A. GravesEmail author
  • Scott M. Pearson
  • Monica G. Turner
Research Article


Biodiversity-based cultural ecosystem services (CES), such as birdwatching, are strongly influenced by biotic community dynamics. However, CES models are largely static, relying on single estimates of species richness or land-use/land-cover proxies, and may be inadequate for landscape management of CES supply. Using bird survey data from the Appalachian Mountains (USA), we developed spatial–temporal models of five CES indicators (total bird species richness, and richness of migratory, infrequent, synanthrope, and resident species), reflecting variation in birdwatcher preferences. We analyzed seasonal shifts in birdwatching supply and how those shifts impacted public access to projected birdwatching hotspots. Landscape patterns of CES supply differed substantially among indicators, leading to opposing conclusions about locations of highest birdwatching supply. Total species richness hotspots seldom overlapped with hotspots of migratory or infrequent species. Public access to CES hotspots varied seasonally. Our study suggests that simple, static biodiversity metrics may overlook spatial dynamics important to CES users.


Avian diversity Biodiversity Birdwatching Ecosystem services Recreation Species richness 



Thank you to the landowners who provided permission for data collection. G. Lancaster, J. Mackie, and Z. Hane helped compile data. M. Hopey assisted with data collection. E. Damschen, C. Kucharik V. Radeloff, B. Zuckerberg, C. Ziter, and C. Latimer provided helpful comments on early development of these ideas. Thank you to A. Alstad for comments on an earlier draft. This study was funded by the National Science Foundation Long-term Ecological Research Program (Grants DEB-0823293 and DEB-1440485) and by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Vilas Trust.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 847 kb)


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rose A. Graves
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Scott M. Pearson
    • 2
  • Monica G. Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Integrative BiologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyMars Hill UniversityMars HillUSA
  3. 3.Human-Environment SystemsBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA

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