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Avian Behavior and Ecology in Managed Ecosystems


We study the behavior and ecology of birds and how birds contribute to ecological functioning and ecosystem services and disservices. We are particularly interested in patterns of bird activity in managed landscapes dominated by agriculture. How do we make landscapes more hospitable for native species that contribute significant ecosystem services and less hospitable to non-native species and those that cause ecosystem disservices? One current project, funded by the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission, compares bird and insect activity in conventional cherry and apple orchards vs. high-density orchards. High-density orchards are becoming more common given their potential economic and production benefits. They may also provide environmental benefits but the activity of pest and beneficial organisms in high-density orchards, along with potential mitigation strategies for pest organisms, has not been well-investigated. Stay tuned.

Catherine Lindell
Associate Professor
Integrative Biology Department
Center for Global Change and Earth Observations (CGCEO)