Research

BlueberriesLinkages among farmer decision-making, beneficial bird species, and pest management in fruit-growing systems. We are investigating how to make fruit-production regions more hospitable to natural predators of crop pests. For example, by installing nest boxes for American kestrels, we can attract these small predatory birds to cherry orchards and blueberry fields. We are investigating whether kestrels can reduce activity and local population sizes of species like voles and European starlings that damage fruit crops. With Drs. Phil Howard, Stephanie Shwiff, Chris McClure, and Alexandra Bernasek, and graduate student Megan Shave, we are investigating economic, social, and conservation components of this complex system. Funding for this project comes from the National Science Foundation Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems Program.Melissa checking the contents of an American kestrel box with the pole-cameraAn American kestrel nestling a few days before fledging

Birds damage to fruit crops. Fruit production is a critical component of the global economy and fruit consumption is important to improving human health. Production of blueberries, cherries, and grapes continues to increase and 'Honeycrisp' apple supply and demand are climbing. For example, the top ten cherry-exporting nations produce a collective annual yield valued at more than one billion dollars. An important problem for fruit growers is losses to birds that eat fruit. We are working with fruit growers in Michigan to investigate ways to reduce bird damage to fruit crops. With a grant from the Michigan Horticultural Society in 2018 we conducted a pilot study to assess whether unmanned aerial systems can potentially deter fruit-eating birds from sweet cherry orchards. We are beginning to analyze the data from the 2018 study.​​​​Megan attaching the camera as Emily stands ready to get the box back up.

Birds perform ecological functions in tropical forest restoration efforts. Deforested areas of the tropics are often abandoned, leaving large areas of degraded land that provide few ecosystem functions. For example, degraded lands may have high levels of erosion, reduced nutrients for plant growth, and provide little habitat for native animal species. Restoring these areas can lead to productive ecosystems. In addition, restoration projects allow us to test fundamental questions about the structure and functioning of ecosystems.

Representative publications

Shave, M.E., S.A. Shwiff, J.L. Elser and C.A. Lindell. In press. Falcons using orchard nest boxes reduce fruit-eating bird abundances and provide economic benefits for a fruit-growing region. Journal of Applied Ecology.

Roels, S.M., J.L. Porter, and C.A. Lindell. 2018. Tropical forest restoration strategy affects predation pressure by birds and arthropods on herbivorous insects. Restoration Ecology. doi: 10.1111/rec.12693


William, S.M. and C.A. Lindell. 2018. Nuclear species in Peruvian Amazonian mixed-species flocks are differentially attractive to transient species and to each other. Wilson Journal of Ornithology. https://doi.org/10.1676/16-130.1

Lindell, C.A., R.A. Eaton, P. H. Howard, S.M. Roels, and M.E. Shave. 2018. Enhancing agricultural landscapes to increase crop pest reduction by vertebrates. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment 257:1-11.

Shave, M.E. and C.A. Lindell. 2017. Occupancy modeling reveals territory-level effects of nest boxes on the presence, colonization, and persistence of a declining raptor in a fruit-growing region. PLoS ONE. 12(10): e0185701. https://doi. org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185701

Shave, M.E. and C.A. Lindell. 2017. American Kestrels occupying nest boxes in Michigan cherry orchards show high reproductive performance and tolerance to video camera monitoring. Journal of Raptor Research. 51(1):50-60.

Lazos, E., J. Zinda,  A. Bennett-Curry, P. Balvanera, G. Bloomfield, C. Lindell and C. Negra. 2016. Stakeholders and tropical reforestation: challenges, trade-offs, and strategies in dynamic environments. Biotropica 48:900-914.

Lindell, C.A., K.S. Steensma, P.D. Curtis, J.R. Boulanger, J.E. Carroll, C. Burrows, D.P. Lusch, N.L. Rothwell, S.L. Wieferich, H.M. Henrichs, D.K. Leigh, R.A. Eaton, G.M. Linz. 2016. Proportions of bird damage in tree fruits are higher in low-fruit-abundance contexts. Crop Protection 90:40-48.

Eaton, R.A., C.A. Lindell, H.J. Homan, G.M. Linz. and B.A. Maurer. 2016. American Robins (Turdus migratorius) and Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) vary in use of cultivated cherry orchards. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 128(1):97-107.

Herrnstadt, Z., Howard, P.H., Oh, C.-O. Lindell, C.A. 2015. Consumer Preferences for "Natural" Agricultural Practices: Assessing Methods to Manage Bird Pests. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 1-8  doi:10.1017/S1742170515000447

Maas, B., D. Karp, S. Bumrungsri, K. Darras,D. Gonthier, J. Huang, C. Lindell, J. Maine, L. Mestre, N. Michel, E. Morrison, I. Perfecto, S. Philpott, C. Sekercioglu, R. Silva, P. Taylor, T. Tscharntke, S. Van Bael, C. Whelan, K. Williams-Guillén. 2015. Bird and bat predation services in tropical forests and agroforestry landscapes. Biological Reviews 000-000. doi:10.1111/brv.12211

Anderson, A., C. Lindell, K.M. Moxcey, B. Siemer, P. Curtis, J. Carroll, C. Burrows, J. Boulanger, K. Steensma and S. A. Shwiff. 2013. Bird Damage to Select Fruit Crops: The Costs of damage and the benefits of control in Five States. Crop Protection 52:103-109.

Lindell, C.A., Reid, J.L. and Cole, R.J. 2013. Planting Design Effects on Avian Seed Dispersers in a Tropical Forest Restoration Experiment. Restoration Ecology 21:515-522.

Morrison, E.B. and C.A. Lindell. 2012. Birds and bats reduce insect biomass and leaf damage in tropical forest restoration sites. Ecological Applications 22:1526-1534.

Lindell, C.A., R.J. Cole, K.D. Holl, and R.A. Zahawi. 2012. Migratory bird species in young tropical forest restoration sites: effects of vegetation height, planting design, and season. Bird Conservation International 22:94-105.

Morrison, E.B., C.A. Lindell, K.D. Holl, R.A. Zahawi. 2010. Using behavioural ecology to assess the quality of tropical forest restoration sites: Patch size effects on avian foraging patterns. Journal of Applied Ecology 47:130-138.

Fink, R.D., C.A. Lindell, E.B. Morrison, R.A. Zahawi, and K.D. Holl. 2009. Patch size and tree species influence the number and duration of bird visits in forest restoration plots in southern Costa Rica. Restoration Ecology 17:479-486.

Lindell, C.A. 2008. The value of animal behavior in evaluations of restoration success. Restoration Ecology 16:197-203. (most-accessed article on Restoration Ecology website 2008).

Lindell, C.A., S. Riffell, S.A. Kaiser, A. Battin, M.L. Smith, and T.D. Sisk. 2007. Edge responses of tropical and temperate birds. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 119:204-221.