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Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3502-3512; doi:10.3390/su5083502

The Influence of Different Cover Types on American Robin Nest Success in Organic Agroecosystems

School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska Lincoln, 3310 Holdrege St, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
Department of Biology, Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29613, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 June 2013 / Revised: 23 July 2013 / Accepted: 5 August 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming and a Systems Approach to Sustainable Agroecosystems)
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There are many opportunities for biodiversity conservation in organic farm systems. Successful and sustainable conservation efforts in organic systems, however, need to measure appropriate outcomes. In particular, data are needed on the breeding success of associated wildlife species. We measured nesting success of the American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in woodlands embedded within eight organic farms in eastern Nebraska. We modeled daily nest survival rate to identify land use and land cover patterns that optimize conservation of birds in organic farm systems. The percentage of a crop in the fields adjacent to linear woodlands best predicted daily survival rate. Daily survival rate was lower in fields adjacent to wheat and greater in woodlands adjacent to soybean fields, though the latter may be a weak effect. There was no evidence that reducing the area allocated to organic crop production would improve daily survival rate but rather an evidence of a patch-matrix interaction. These results suggest that, if suitable nesting sites exist, organic farmers can complement local conservation efforts without losing working farmland. View Full-Text
Keywords: associated biodiversity; conservation; land sharing; patch-matrix; soybean; wildlife; wheat associated biodiversity; conservation; land sharing; patch-matrix; soybean; wildlife; wheat

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Quinn, J.E.; Oden, A.; Brandle, J.R. The Influence of Different Cover Types on American Robin Nest Success in Organic Agroecosystems. Sustainability 2013, 5, 3502-3512.

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