Avian nesting success and diversity in conventionally and organically managed apple orchards

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
based on master's thesis funded by PWRC: A comparison of the nesting success of mourning doves and American robins in conventionally managed and organic orchards / by Kimberly Morgan Fluetsch. Thesis (M.S.)--University of Maryland at College Park, 1992. vi, 69 leaves.
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This study examines the effects of operational use of pesticides on avian species inhabiting apple orchards in Pennsylvania. Mourning dove (Zenaida rnacroura) and American robin (Turdus migratorius) nests were monitored in three organic and three conventional apple orchards during 1990 and 1991. In 1991 we surveyed the avian communities of these orchards by using line transects. Organophosphorus (OP) (e.g., azinphos-methyl, phosphamidon, parathion, dimethoate), carbamate (CA) (e.g., methomyl, formetanate, oxamyl), and organochlorine (endosulfan) pesticides, known to be highly toxic to birds, were sprayed individually or in mixtures as part of routine pest management as many as 19 times during peaks in breeding activity. Spray card tests revealed that OP pesticides were deposited on 86% of the nests in conventional orchards. Daily survival rates (DSRs) for nests of both species were higher in the organic orchards than in the conventional orchards for 1991 and for years combined (p < 0.05). Species diversity was greater in the organic orchards (H= 2.43) than in the conventional orchards (H=1.79). Repeated applications of pesticides within the conventional orchards reduced the reproductive success of doves and robins and may have lowered avian species diversity compared with organic orchards.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Avian nesting success and diversity in conventionally and organically managed apple orchards
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume 13
Issue 10
Year Published 1994
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 1651-1659
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
First page 1651
Last page 1659