American Robin Fledgling
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American Robin Fledgling

June 23, 2010
American Robin Fledgling American Robin (Turdus migratorius) fledgling fitted with a radio transmitter. Building new roads and housing developments impacts ecosystem structures and functions through the conversion of land, fragmentation of natural habitat, disruption of hydrological systems, and modification of energy flow and nutrient cycles. Researchers who study urban development have very different emphases, scale, methodology, and objectives from ecological scientists, thus simulation models for the two areas have evolved in separate knowledge domains. By building on model traditions in urban economics, landscape ecology, wildlife population dynamics and complex system science, each of which offers different perspectives on modeling urban ecological interactions, scientists at the University of Washington have developed a framework to simulate dynamic interactions between urban development and ecological processes. The result is a new and deeper understanding of urban growth and its impacts on bird habitat than previously possible using simulations from a single research field. Such assessments of ecological impacts of urban growth that are timely, accurate, and transparent are crucial to making sound policy and management decisions. This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation's Biocomplexity program (01-20024) and Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program (01-14351). (Date of Image: June 2003)

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