, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 107–118 | Cite as

Birds in depressional forested wetlands: Area and habitat requirements and model uncertainty

  • Samuel RiffellEmail author
  • Thomas Burton
  • Margaret Murphy


Forested wetlands are important habitat for many bird species, but data about area and habitat relationships of birds in depressional (i.e., non-riverine) deciduous forested wetlands are scarce. Depressional forested wetlands are often surrounded by larger, continuous patches of upland forest, and it is not clear whether this surrounding forest should be considered part of the forested wetland. To contribute regional data to this question, we sampled birds and vegetation in depressional forested wetlands in southern Michigan, USA. Results indicated that the wetland per se should not be considered separate from the surrounding forest because forest area and forest characteristics were the most important predictors of richness and abundance of wetland-associated birds. Conversely, wetland area and wetland characteristics were important for some upland species. Because spatial clustering and model selection uncertainty are often encountered by wetland scientists, we describe analytical methods used to deal with these problems.

Key Words

area relationships birds depressional deciduous forested wetlands habitat relationships Kullback-Leibler information Michigan mixed models model selection model uncertainty 


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel Riffell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Burton
    • 1
    • 2
  • Margaret Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Fisheries & WildlifeMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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