Support

Support Options

  • Knowledge Base

    Find information on common questions and issues.

  • Support Messages

    Check on the status of your correspondences with members of the QUBES team.

Contact Us

About you
About the problem

Testing hypotheses about the role of wildfire in structuring avian communities

By Lesley Bulluck

Dept of Biology and Center for Environmental Studies

This module assesses the role of wildfire in the eastern US and its impact on bird communities using NEON bird survey data from pre- and post- a major wildfire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) in November 2016.

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group NEON Faculty Mentoring Network

Version 1.0 - published on 07 Jan 2019 doi:10.25334/Q4P44F - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

wesetern-nc-fires-houser-1024x683.jpg

Description

Students build on fundamental concepts of disturbance ecology and its role in structuring wildlife communities.  This module specifically assesses the role of wildfire in the eastern US and its impact on bird communities using NEON bird survey data from pre- and post- a major wildfire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) in November 2016.  Over two class/lab periods, students learn about natural disturbances in the eastern US and develop hypotheses about the GRSM case study, and then carry out data analysis using NEON data to test their hypotheses.  Bird survey data from summer 2016 are used as pre-burn data and bird surveys from summer 2017 and 2018 are used as post-burn data, where some survey plots were affected by the burn and others were not.  A Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design is used to determine whether bird species richness and diversity was affected by the fire.  Students are challenged to think about how to ‘wrangle’ data from NEON downloads so that they can be used to calculate diversity indices and test hypotheses about changes in those indices pre- and post-wildfire.  By the end of this module, student should be able to: (1) Develop hypotheses about the role of natural disturbance (specifically wildfire) on the distribution and abundance of birds in GRSM, (2) Understand how to use a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design to test hypotheses using NEON bird data collected before and after a wildfire, (3) Wrangle and analyze data in R, and (4) Hypothesize alternative factors that may influence changes in avian communities following natural disturbance.

Contents

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

NEON Faculty Mentoring Network

NEON Faculty Mentoring Network group image

When watching a resource, you will be notified when a new version is released.