- Brugger, Luke James [Browse]
- Senior thesis
- 58 pages
- Pacala, Stephen [Browse]
- Princeton University. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology [Browse]
- Class year
- Summary note
- Wildfire plays a large role in the ecology of Rocky Mountain National
Park. As threats of wildfire have increased over the past decades, it is important
to understand how both wildfire and prescribed burning influence the species
within the park. In my study I wanted to see how wildfire and the prescribed
burning program in Rocky Mountain National Park influence bird bird diversity.
The results show that 5 species had statistically significant correlations
with wildfire and 10 species had significant correlations with prescribed burning.
5 species in the study were only observed in non-burned areas, 6 of the species
were only observed in prescribed burn areas, and 9 of the species were only
observed areas affected by wildfire. On a broader level I was able to show that an
ideal environment for Rocky Mountain National Park’s bird diversity is one that
is made of of a variety of burned and non-burned forests of all varieties. Overall,
the key to bird species diversity within the park is a heterogeneous environment,
but one in which prescribed burning should not play a large role.