Conservation reserve enhancement program fields

Benefits for grassland and shrub-scrub species

Kevin L. Wentworth, Margaret Brittingham-Brant, Andy M. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Almost 30,000 ha (74,100 ac) of grassland were created in south-central Pennsylvania through the USDA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) from 2000 to 2004.To assess the use of these fields by grassland and other birds and to develop region-specific management guidelines, we conducted transect counts of singing birds in 103 CREP fields during 2002 to 2004 and measured within-field vegetation and landscape characteristics.Thirty-two bird species were found on fields during the breeding season. Redwinged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) were most numerous, followed by three shrub-scrub species. Grassland obligate species were rare and were most abundant on larger fields with a lower density of vegetation and a predominance of cool-season grasses. Abundances of shrub-scrub species were highest on smaller fields with a higher density of vegetation and a higher proportion of warm-season grasses. Avian use of CREP fields in Pennsylvania differs from Midwestern Conservation Reserve Program fields in a number of important ways. Shrub-scrub species were more common, which may be due to the small mean field size and the more forested landscape. In addition, grassland obligates were found in greater densi-ties on fields of cool-season grasses than in fields of warm-season or mixed grasses. Targeted enrollment and management of large fields or those adjoining other grasslands for grassland birds and small fields or those adjoining woodlands for shrub-scrub species may be the best approach to maximize the benefits of CREP for a range of bird species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

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scrub
shrublands
conservation areas
shrub
shrubs
grasslands
grassland
grass
bird
birds
vegetation
cool season grasses
rare species
breeding season
Conservation Reserve Program
Agelaius phoeniceus
programme
warm season grasses
woodland
transect

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

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abstract = "Almost 30,000 ha (74,100 ac) of grassland were created in south-central Pennsylvania through the USDA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) from 2000 to 2004.To assess the use of these fields by grassland and other birds and to develop region-specific management guidelines, we conducted transect counts of singing birds in 103 CREP fields during 2002 to 2004 and measured within-field vegetation and landscape characteristics.Thirty-two bird species were found on fields during the breeding season. Redwinged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) were most numerous, followed by three shrub-scrub species. Grassland obligate species were rare and were most abundant on larger fields with a lower density of vegetation and a predominance of cool-season grasses. Abundances of shrub-scrub species were highest on smaller fields with a higher density of vegetation and a higher proportion of warm-season grasses. Avian use of CREP fields in Pennsylvania differs from Midwestern Conservation Reserve Program fields in a number of important ways. Shrub-scrub species were more common, which may be due to the small mean field size and the more forested landscape. In addition, grassland obligates were found in greater densi-ties on fields of cool-season grasses than in fields of warm-season or mixed grasses. Targeted enrollment and management of large fields or those adjoining other grasslands for grassland birds and small fields or those adjoining woodlands for shrub-scrub species may be the best approach to maximize the benefits of CREP for a range of bird species.",
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Conservation reserve enhancement program fields : Benefits for grassland and shrub-scrub species. / Wentworth, Kevin L.; Brittingham-Brant, Margaret; Wilson, Andy M.

In: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Vol. 65, No. 1, 01.01.2010, p. 50-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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