Predicting Bird Community Changes to Invasion of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Kentucky
Adelges tsugae (Hemlock Woolly Adelgid [HWA]) is rapidly spreading across Kentucky, yet the potential effects on bird communities of the region are not known. We surveyed birds in Tsuga canadensis (Eastern Hemlock) and other forest types across the Appalachian mountain region of Kentucky during the early stages of infestation when HWA was absent from most sites. Based on associations between birds and forest types, we identified 4 bird species likely to be negatively affected by Eastern Hemlock decline. For one of these species, Setophaga virens (Black-throated Green Warbler), we used landscape metrics of forest composition to make predictions about the density of Eastern Hemlock necessary for persistence. This type of information can help managers establish control strategies for HWA.
Brown, D. R., & Weinkam, T. (2014). Predicting Bird Community Changes to Invasion of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Kentucky. Southeastern Naturalist, 13(6), 104-116. doi:10.1656/058.013.s607