Defense Date

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Lesley Bulluck

Abstract

Land cover classifications are useful in a broad range of ecological applications, yet publicly available classifications are not always useful for the needs of specific projects. Custom classifications are always a possibility, however, they can be financially or computationally out of reach for many researchers. Here we present a custom 1m resolution land cover classification created using freely available imagery and a random forest classification approach. This classification detected shrub cover more accurately and at a finer resolution than previous classifications. With the creation of this map, we were then able to examine landscape factors influencing occupancy dynamics of the golden-winged warbler, a rapidly declining shrubland specialist, at two ecologically relevant scales. Our findings indicate that shrub cover is important in predicting warbler occupancy and persistence at scales relevant to nesting, while forest characteristics are important at scales relevant to foraging and fledgling dispersal.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

7-30-2018

Available for download on Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Included in

Ornithology Commons

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