To understand native species persistence in transformed landscapes we must evaluate how individual behaviors interact with landscape structure through ecological processes such as habitat selection. Rapid, widespread landscape transformation may lead to a mismatch between habitat preference and quality, a phenomenon known as ecological traps that can have negative outcomes for populations. I applied this framework to the study of birds inhabiting landscapes dominated by forest remnants and shade coffee plantations, a tropical agroforestry system that retains important portions of native biodiversity. I used two different approaches to answer the question: What is the role of habitat selection in the adaptation of native species to transformed landscapes? First, I present the results of a simulation model used to evaluate the effects of landscape structure on population dynamics of a hypothetical species under two mechanisms of habitat selection. Then I present the analyses of seven years of capture-mark-recapture and resight data collected to compare habitat preference and quality between shade coffee and forest for twelve resident bird species in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia). I provide evidence for the importance of including the landscape context in the evaluation of ecological traps and for using long-term demographic data when evaluating the potential of novel ecosystems and intermediately-modified habitats for biodiversity conservation. Beyond suggestions to improve bird conservation in shade coffee, my findings contribute to theory about ecological traps and can be applied to understand population processes in a wide variety of heterogeneous landscapes.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Sanchez Clavijo, Lina Maria, "Habitat selection in transformed landscapes and the role of novel ecosystems for native species persistence" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5240.