Avian Distribution Patterns Across the Cache River Floodplain, Arkansas
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS
Pagination or Media Count:
During spring of 1988 and winter of 1988-89, songbirds were sampled along two belt transects extending across the broad, forested floodplain of the Cache River, Arkansas. Objectives were to compare avian abundance and species richness among floodplain forest zones, identify habitat variables related to the distribution of both breeding and wintering species, and examine the influence of the hydrologic gradient on habitat use by birds. Forest zones differed in structure, flooding regime, and use by birds. The tupelocypress zone, in particular, provided habitat unlike that in the higher oak-dominated zones and supported a number of bird species that were much less abundant elsewhere. Distributions of chimney swifts, prothonotary warblers, and great crested flycatchers were skewed toward wetter sites, whereas summer tanagers, red-eyed vireos, and others were skewed toward drier sites. To maintain diversity of bottomland bird communities, it is important to maintain intact systems including all elevational forest zones.