, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 296–308 | Cite as

Bird distributions and forest zonation in a bottomland hardwood wetland

  • James S. Wakeley
  • Thomas H. Roberts


During spring of 1988 and winter of 1988–89, we sampled songbird populations and habitat characteristics along two belt transects extending across the broad, forested floodplain of the Cache River, Arkansas, USA. Objectives were to compare avian abundance and species richness among floodplain forest zones and to investigate bird species distributions in relation to the wetness gradient. Forest zones differed in structure, flooding regime, and use by birds. The tupelo/baldcypress zone, in particular, provided habitat unlike that in the higher oak-dominated zones and supported a number of bird species that were much less abundant elsewhere. Distributions of chimney swifts (Chaetura pelagica), prothonotary warblers (Protonotaria citrea), and great crested flycatchers (Myiarchus crinitus) were skewed toward wetter sites, whereas summer tanagers (Piranga rubra), red-eyed vireos (Vireo olivaceus), and others were skewed toward drier sites.

Key Words

bird diversity bird populations wildlife habitat forested wetlands wetland functions bottomland hardwoods forest zonation wetness gradient Cache River Arkansas 


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • James S. Wakeley
    • 1
  • Thomas H. Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental LaboratoryU.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment StationVicksburg

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