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Sustainability Events

One Hundred-Fifty Years of Change in Bird Life in Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1860-2012

Michael Strohbach

  • Postdoctoral Research Scholar, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • Fellow, Center for Urban Resilience, Loyola Marymount University

In 1860, American ornithologist William Brewster first recorded all the bird species he found on a property in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since then, the site has transformed from an estate surrounded by farmland on the rural edge of the city, to a residential neighborhood in the inner core of the Boston metropolitan area. We are lucky enough to have additional bird species accounts from around 1900,1940, 1950 and 1960. The changes in the bird community over the 100 years have been quite substantial. Such long-term accounts are very rare and most of what we know about a bird's response to urbanization stems from gradient analysis.

In 2012, we repeated the breeding bird survey, thus expanding the time series to 150 years. The data contains a wealth of compelling stories about how different species have coped with the challenges of human and natural systems. Michael Strohbach will discuss the changes that have occurred in the light of contemporary urban and landscape ecology.

This brown bag seminar is sponsored by ASU's Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.