Terese Dudek

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Southern, William E.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


Wetland ecology--Illinois; Bird populations--Illinois


I inventoried the migratory and breeding avifauna at 23 wetlands selected within the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, Lake, McHenry and DuPage during 1984 and 1985 in order to determine the effect of certain wetland habitat characteristics on the species diversity and use type of the wetlands. I hypothesized that 6 habitat characteristics - wetland size; habitat diversity; interspersion pattern; surrounding land use; proximity to adjacent wetlands and the water regime present - were the factors that affect bird species at a marsh. I found 4 of the 6 habitat characteristics I measured to be significant in determining bird species richness, relative abundance and use type of these sites. The interspersion pattern, and its interrelationship with the amount of open water and water depth, resulted in a dynamic wetland with a great variety of habitat types available for bird use. Interspersion Types 4 and 5 provided more edge that resulted in greater resource availability for breeding avian species. The desirable amount of open water for maximum species diversity was 40-60%. The minimum site size for maximum bird species diversity and use was 15 ha. The water regimes at these 23 wetlands favored cattail as With today's technology and human activities, conservation decisions often are irreversible. Further research on wetland ecosystems is necessary. Water-depth measurements across the breeding and migratory seasons should be made in order to ascertain the effects of the overall water regime at northeastern Illinois wetlands on bird species. Specific breeding requirements of wetland birds should be investigated, such as the relationship between water depth below a nest and reproductive success. Breeding habitat requirements also should be ascertained through quantitative studies of the kind and amount of food resources available at edges (i.e. vegetation-water interface ). Finally, because of the type of land use practices within this part of Illinois, pollution assimilation should be assessed for the invertebrate and plant food resources of birds, as well as the vegetation they use for cover. Only through preservation, investigation and active management of the wetlands remaining within northeastern Illinois can we protect those bird species that depend upon such sites for survival.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 131-136)


viii, 136 pages




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