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The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was designed to reduce soil erosion and curb agricultural overproduction by converting highly erodible agricultural land to various forms of perennial habitat. It has had an incidental benefit of providing habitat for wildlife and has been beneficial in reversing population declines of several grassland bird species. However, the mechanisms behind these reversals remain unknown. One such mechanism may be differences in food availability on CRP vs. non-CRP land or between different types of CRP. The influence of CRP habitat type on the abundance of arthropod prey used by grassland birds has not been previously explored. We compared the abundance and diversity of arthropods among...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: American Midland Naturalist
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We examined relative abundances of grassland birds among Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) fields seeded with 2 monocultures of introduced grass species and 2 mixes of native grasses in the Southern High Plains of Texas. We assessed bird compositions among these 4 cover types and between the cover types pooled into categories of introduced and native fields. Breeding season bird diversity and total abundance did not differ among cover types or between introduced and native fields. Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), Cassin's Sparrows (Aimophila cassinii), and Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) accounted for more than 90% of breeding season detections. Grasshopper Sparrows were the most abundant...