Coastal Alabama islands provide vital nesting and foraging habitat to many wading birds, shorebirds, gulls, pelicans, and waterfowl. We compared three regions of coastal Alabama for overlap of species present and species nesting using Monte Carlo simulations. The observed numbers of species present and species nesting were both less than predicted by the simulations, suggesting that local processes drive diversity on the coastline of Alabama. These findings also suggest that, in the wake of the recent oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, management along the coast of Alabama should consider species assemblages rather than surrogates and apply a scale of management decisions so as to manage each local community individually rather than manage the region as a whole.
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