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Biological diversity in montane riparian ecosystems: The case of the Mexican spotted owl

Posted date: August 06, 2010
Publication Year: 
1999
Authors: Hodgson, Angela; Stacey, Peter B.
Publication Series: 
Proceedings (P)
Source: In: Finch, Deborah M.; Whitney, Jeffrey C.; Kelly, Jeffrey, F.; Loftin, Samuel R. Rio Grande ecosystems: linking land, water, and people: Toward a sustainable future for the Middle Rio Grande Basin. 1998 June 2-5; Albuquerque, NM. Proc. RMRS-P-7. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 204-210.
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

Although usually considered to be a bird of old growth mixed conifer forests, the Mexican spotted owl historically occurred in a wide range of habitats from lowland cottonwood bosques to montane canyon systems. In a recent study of habitat use in central New Mexico, we found that owls roost primarily in canyon bottoms, and that they select sites that are characterized by deciduous trees and high structural complexity of vegetation, rather than by large diameter conifer trees per se. Intact riparian areas in montane canyons typically have considerable structure, yet, as in the lowlands, these habitats have undergone extensive modification and reduction. The unexpected diversity of habitat use of the Mexican spotted owl suggests that historic changes in upland riparian systems in the Rio Grande Basin may have impacted more species than originally believed.

Citation

Hodgson, Angela; Stacey, Peter B. 1999. Biological diversity in montane riparian ecosystems: The case of the Mexican spotted owl. In: Finch, Deborah M.; Whitney, Jeffrey C.; Kelly, Jeffrey, F.; Loftin, Samuel R. Rio Grande ecosystems: linking land, water, and people: Toward a sustainable future for the Middle Rio Grande Basin. 1998 June 2-5; Albuquerque, NM. Proc. RMRS-P-7. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 204-210.