Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Environment and Society
As humans harvest increasing amounts of biomass, it is crucial to gain an understanding of how much energy is being appropriated and the impact that this could have on ecosystems and biodiversity. The primary way in which humans impact biodiversity loss is through land use change. One way of quantifying the impact of land use change is through human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP). This measurement represents the total amount of energy derived from photosynthesis that humans remove from ecosystems and appropriate for their own use. My research studies the relationship between HANPP and bird species richness at the county level of the conterminous U.S. using a linear model with a spatial correlation structure. I produce a new dataset of bird species richness per county in 2001 from the USGS GAP species richness data. HANPP is negatively correlated with species richness, supporting the hypothesis that counties with higher HANPP had a lower number of bird species. Bird species richness, however, is overwhelmingly influenced by environmental and climatic factors such as coastal proximity and temperature.
Mueller, Kaeli, "The Relationship Between Bird Species Richness and Human Appropriation of Net Primary Productivity" (2022). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023. 8655.
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