JEA 2019, 3(1), 1; doi: 10.22261/JEA.I4B2LF
Songbird community response to regeneration of reclaimed wellsites in the boreal forest of Alberta
1 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, T6G 2E9, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 Jun 2018 / Accepted: 2019-01-17 / Published: 2019-02-13
The boreal forest of Alberta, Canada is important breeding habitat for North American songbirds. Thousands of oil and gas wellsites exist in this region that have been actively reclaimed since the 1960s. Limited information exists on how songbirds respond to regeneration of wellsites following reclamation. Methods that provide spatially accurate data are required to determine impacts of these small disturbances characteristic of energy sector on songbirds. Acoustic localization can be used to determine singing locations, based on time of arrival differences of songs to an array of microphones. We used acoustic localization to determine the assemblage of songbirds on 12 reclaimed wellsites ranging from 7 to 49 years since reclamation, and how the similarity of this assemblage to 12 control mature forest sites (greater than 80 years old) changed with increasing canopy cover on the wellsite. Songbird community composition became more similar to mature forest as canopy cover increased on reclaimed wellsites. Results from this study suggest that wellsite reclamation practices are allowing for initial suitable vegetation recovery, however more research on the effectiveness of different strategies at promoting regeneration of wellsites and subsequent impact on songbird communities is required.
Keywords: reclamation; boreal forest; songbird; acoustic localization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
Wilson, S.J.; Bayne, E.M. Songbird community response to regeneration of reclaimed wellsites in the boreal forest of Alberta. JEA 2019, 3, 1.
Wilson SJ, Bayne EM. Songbird community response to regeneration of reclaimed wellsites in the boreal forest of Alberta. Journal of Ecoacoustics. 2019; 3(1):1.
Wilson, Scott J.; Bayne, Erin M. 2019. "Songbird community response to regeneration of reclaimed wellsites in the boreal forest of Alberta." JEA 3, no. 1: 1.