USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Avian Use of Purple Loosestrife Dominated Habitat Relative to Other Vegetation Types in a Lake Huron Wetland Complex

By

Michael B. Whitt1,3,4, Harold H. Prince1, and Robert R. Cox, Jr.2


Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), a native of Eurasia, is an introduced perennial plant in North American wetlands that displaces other wetland plants. Although not well studied, purple loosestrife is widely believed to have little value as habitat for birds. To examine the value of purple loosestrife as avian breeding habitat, we conducted early, mid-, and late season bird surveys during two years (1994 and 1995) at 258 18-m (0.1 ha) fixed-radius plots in coastal wetlands of Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. We found that loosestrife-dominated habitats had higher avian densities, but lower avian diversities than other vegetation types. The six most commonly observed bird species in all habitats combined were Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis), Marsh Wren (C. palustris), Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia), Common Yellowthroat (Geothylpis trichas), Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana), and Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus). Swamp Sparrow densities were highest and Marsh Wren densities were lowest in loosestrife dominated habitats. We observed ten breeding species in loosestrife dominated habitats. We conclude that avian use of loosestrife warrants further quantitative investigation because avian use may be higher than is commonly believed. Received 27 May 1998, accepted 26 Aug. 1998.
This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 1048):
Whitt, Michael B., Harold H. Prince, and Robert R. Cox, Jr.  1999.  Avian Use
     of Purple Loosestrife Dominated Habitat Relative to Other Vegetation Types
     in a Lake Huron Wetland Complex.  Wilson Bulletin Vol. 111, No 1:105-114.
This resource should be cited as:
Whitt, Michael B., Harold H. Prince, and Robert R. Cox, Jr.  1999.  Avian Use
     of Purple Loosestrife Dominated Habitat Relative to Other Vegetation Types
     in a Lake Huron Wetland Complex.  Wilson Bulletin Vol. 111, No 1:105-114.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/plants/huron/index.htm 
     (Version 04JUN99).

Table of Contents

Figures and Tables


1 Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, East Lansing, MI 48824.
2 Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, 8711 37th Street SE, Jamestown, ND 58401.
3 Present address: Svoboda Ecological Resources, 2477 Shadywood Road, Excelsior, MN 55331;
   e-mail:ser@winternet.com.
4 Corresponding author.
Downloading Instructions -- Instructions on downloading and extracting files from this site.
(Download) huron.zip ( 63K) -- Avian Use of Purple Loosestrife Dominated Habitat Relative to Other Vegetation Types in a Lake Huron Wetland Complex
Installation: Extract all files and open index.htm in a web browser.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/plants/huron/index.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 06:29:32 EST
Reston, VA [vaww54]