An examination of interactions between bird and foundation plants in an arid ecosystem.

Malory Owen’s Second-year Masters Progress report

March 19th, 2020

Malory Owen & Christopher Lortie

Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla) in Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata)

Positive interactions between plants and animals create habitat infrastructure on which many species rely, especially when the promotion of foundation species is involved. Mutualistic interactions between plants and birds (like pollination or seed dispersal) are dependent on both plant and bird phenology or cyclic/seasonal changes. However, phenology is plastic as photoperiod and temperature largely determine flowering & fruiting for plants and migration & breeding for birds. As our climate changes and habitats degrade, we must understand what interactions are at risk. That’s why, in this study, we examined the relationships between birds, their community, their behavior, and their microhabitat associations.

Follow this link to view my progress report presentation for March 2020, or follow this link to view the slide deck of the presentation.

About Malory

A grad student at York University interested in positive interactions, conservation biology, and geospatial relationships of desert ecosystems. Can be found birding, arting, or ghibli-ing. ∆