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The San Francisco Bay estuary is highly urbanized, but it supports the largest remaining extent of tidal salt marshes on the west coast of North America as well as a diverse native bird community. San Francisco Bay tidal marshes are occupied by more than 113 bird species that represent 31 families, including five subspecies from three families that we denote as tidal-marsh obligates. To better identify the niche of bird species in tidal marshes, we present a review of functional groups based on foraging guilds and habitat associations. Foraging guilds describe the method by which species obtain food from tidal marshes, while habitat associations describe broad areas within the marsh that have similar environmental...
Tidal marsh habitat is at high risk of severe loss and degradation as a result of human uses, sea-level rise, changes in salinity, and more frequent and extreme storms projected by climate models. Availability of habitat is a prerequisite for long-term viability of marsh bird populations and this has been modeled in a companion California Landscape Conservation Cooperative project (Veloz et al. 2011). However, habitat alone will ensure neither resilience nor recovery of depleted and threatened populations. To provide management guidance to reduce species’ vulnerability and recover depleted populations, we developed interactive population dynamic models for four key marsh species: Black Rail, Clapper Rail, Common...
This project designed a monitoring program and protocol to detect the effects of climate change on tidal marsh bird population abundance and distribution. It is a companion to “Tidal Marsh Bird Population and Habitat Assessment for San Francisco Bay under Future Climate Change Conditions” and will build on its products, enabling evaluation of the long-term viability of four tidal-marsh bird species threatened by impacts of climate change: Clapper Rail, Black Rail, Common Yellowthroat, and Song Sparrow (three endemic subspecies: San Pablo, Suisun, and Alameda). Information is available through the California Avian Data Center. See also:
[Excerpt from Introduction] "The San Francisco Bay Estuary supports a large and diverse bird community. More than 50% of most Pacific flyway diving duck populations are found in the Estuary during the winter months (Trost 2002; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2002). San Francisco Bay has been designated as a site of international importance for shorebirds (Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network), supporting millions of individuals (Morrison et al. 2001; Takekawa et al. 2001; Warnock et al. 2002), including species that use tidal marsh habitats. In total, the Bay’s tidal marshes support at least 113 bird species that represent 31 families (Takekawa et al., in press)..."
The vulnerability of species at risk from climate change is recognized as an important issue in California as well as globally. Assessing vulnerability requires information on the long-term viability of populations and understanding the influences on that viability, due to environmental drivers as well as impacts of management action. We developed population-dynamic models to assess and better understand the long-term population viability of four key, tidal marsh-dependent species, under a variety of environmental conditions, including climate change impacts. In the San Francisco Estuary, each species is represented by one or more subspecies that is entirely or mainly confined to the tidal marsh habitat in the region:...
Abstract (from SpringerLink): Salt marsh-dependent species are vulnerable to impacts of sea-level rise (SLR). Site-specific differences in ecogeomorphic processes result in different SLR vulnerabilities. SLR impacts to Ridgway’s rail (Rallus obsoletus) of Southern California (SC) and San Francisco Bay (SF), U.S.A. could foreshadow SLR effects on other coastal endemic species. Salt marsh vulnerabilities to SLR were forecasted across 14 study sites using the Wetland Accretion Rate Model of Ecosystem Resilience, which accounts for changes in above and belowground marsh processes. Changes in suitable habitat for rail were projected with MaxEnt. Under a high (166 cm/100 yr) SLR scenario, current extent of suitable habitat...
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