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dc.contributor.authorBellman, Henriettaen_US
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-02T09:00:51Z
dc.date.available2019-02-02T09:00:51Z
dc.date.issued2019-02-01en_US
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:18617en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/87402
dc.description.abstractBarrier islands are dynamic environments facing increasing vulnerability to climate changes, sea level rises, and anthropogenic activities. Hurricane Sandy (October 2012) modified the Atlantic coast of the United States. On Fire Island and Westhampton Island, New York, multiple overwashes and three breaches occurred. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers filled two breaches, increased dune elevation and stabilized dunes by planting American beachgrass (Ammophila breviligulata). They built two restoration areas to mitigate the impact of an island stabilization project to federally listed breeding piping plovers (Charadrius melodus). The goal of this thesis was to quantify habitat changes after Hurricane Sandy, and assess habitat use of piping plovers specifically in human-created restoration areas. We created land cover maps using an object-based classification method (overall accuracy 85%), and field-collected data from four post-hurricane habitat types. Vegetation cover increased across all habitat types, especially in manipulated (30.1% increase) and natural overwashes (37.9% increase), while dry sand for nesting declined by 8%. Vegetation density indices were higher in natural overwashes than planted engineered dunes, likely a reflection of plant age and establishment. We monitored 83 nests (67 pairs) of piping plovers from 2015�"2017. Restoration areas were successful in attracting breeding piping plovers, although pair densities were lowest in this habitat in 2016, and in 2017 plovers selected against the restoration areas (�2 = 29.47, df = 3, p<0.0001). There was no effect of habitat type on reproductive parameters. We suggest vegetation removal may be necessary to maintain early successional habitats for piping plover management.en_US
dc.format.mediumETDen_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. Some uses of this item may be deemed fair and permitted by law even without permission from the rights holder(s), or the rights holder(s) may have licensed the work for use under certain conditions. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights holder(s).en_US
dc.subjectBarrier islandsen_US
dc.subjectCharadrius melodusen_US
dc.subjecthabitat selectionen_US
dc.subjecthurricaneen_US
dc.subjectimage classificationen_US
dc.subjectvegetation successionen_US
dc.titleHurricane and human-induced habitat changes on Fire Island and Westhampton Island, New York, and the effects on breeding piping plovers (Charadrius melodus)en_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentFisheries and Wildlife Sciencesen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineFish and Wildlife Conservationen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairCatlin, Daniel Herberten_US
dc.contributor.committeechairFraser, James D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPrisley, Stephen P.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKarpanty, Sarah M.en_US


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