Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2018


Ecosystems experience change due to both natural causes and anthropogenic impact such as habitat fragmentation and climate change. Avian species are used as habitat indicators to observe ecosystem integrity and have been observed to experience changes in biodiversity due to anthropogenic impact. This study examines the temporal and spatial changes of avian biodiversity in Acadia National Park. We seek to understand (1) how the alpha diversity has changed over time on Mount Desert Island and Schoodic Peninsula, (2) how beta diversity has changed over time for Mount Desert Island and Schoodic Peninsula (3) how the Schoodic Woods Campground can be used as a model for avian biodiversity change due to human impact. This study demonstrates that the avian communities of Acadia National Park have experienced change. We found that for both Mount Desert Island and Schoodic Peninsula the alpha diversity and beta diversity have increased over time. Comparing Mount Desert Island to Schoodic Peninsula over time resulted in a decrease of beta diversity. Although alpha diversity exhibited significant change surrounding the Schoodic Woods Campground, an increase in species richness closer to surface edges for trails, and campground, there was no trend for beta diversity. The observed trends could be due to biotic homogenization as well as edge effect leading to increased levels of biodiversity.

Included in

Biology Commons