We used a multiscale approach to examine use of riparian forests by Acadian Flycatchers (Empidonax virescens) at three distinct scales: microsite (nest or territory), local stand (3-ha patch of forest), and landscape (1-km-radius area). We examined the extent to which understory arthropod biomass, vegetation structure, and breeding productivity affected habitat use by Acadian Flycatchers across 36 mature riparian forests along an urbanization gradient in central Ohio, 2001–2002. Using an information-theoretic approach, we found that although vegetation structure and understory arthropod biomass were associated with nest and territory location at small spatial scales, they failed to explain habitat use across stands. Instead, percentage of urban cover in the landscape best explained variation in the abundance of Acadian Flycatchers among stands. In fact, Acadian Flycatchers were >3× more abundant in the most rural (≤1% urban) riparian forests than in the more urban (≥10% urban) riparian forests. Nest survival and productivity also declined as urban development increased within the landscape. We suggest that increased nest predation in urban riparian forests, coupled with either reduced productivity or site fidelity or both, may be an underlying mechanism of landscape-scale patterns. Results suggest that explicit consideration of multiple spatial scales, and especially landscape matrix composition, is critical for understanding habitat use.
Uso del Hábitat Dependiente de la Escala por parte de Empidonax virescens en el Centro de Ohio