The Edge Effect On A Forest Bird Community In North Florida

Literature addressing the concept of edge effect on wildlife species, as defined by Leopold (1933), is scanty, contradictory, and inconclusive. To investigate the presence of an edge effect on a breeding bird community in north Florida, 2 types of edge, cypress/ clearcut and cypress/planted pine, were studied. Within the 20 m wide edges, the number of breeding bird species and individuals of a species were no greater than in respective bordering habitats for both edge types studied. However, density of species and individuals within the edge were significantly greater (P < 0.01) for both types of edge, indicating an edge effect. A species replacement phenomenon was observed which further distinguished the edge from the interiors of adjoining habitats.

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