Louisiana Waterthrush and Hemlock Decline
Environmental change caused by invasive species can have a wide range of effects for native communities and populations. The invasive insect, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, is threatening the extirpation of Eastern Hemlock from across at least half of the species’ range. This decline of hemlock is most severe in the southern Appalachians and likely has cascading effects; it may also be detrimental to species that use the Hemlock dominated habitats, such as the Louisiana Waterthrush. We are investigating the effects of hemlock decline in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on this migratory, obligate riparian species in relation to habitat selection patterns, nestling provisioning, nest survival, and annual return rates.