Ashley A. Wilson; California Polytechnic State University; 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93407; (520) 339-9852;; Neil H. Carter, Jesse R. Barber, Eliot Miller, Clinton D. Francis
Anthropogenic nightlight and noise (ANLN) pollutants can alter species' physiology, behavior, and life history by masking biologically relevant cues, as well as impairing species' abilities to interpret and react to sensory stimuli. Although evidence that ANLN influence several different species is mounting, an understanding of which fundamental traits of an organism-- whether they are morphological, physiological, or ecological-- are related to susceptibility to ANLN is unknown. Here, we analyze the relationship between functional traits and relative effect sizes to ANLN and other anthropogenic stressors to evaluate changing bird abundances at a continental scale. Observations of 140 species were complied from Project FeederWatch's citizen science database during the winters between 2007 and 2012. Of these species, 41% and 26% altered their abundance in response to noise and nightlight, respectively. We extracted traits related to each species' foraging attributes, body size, visual and acoustic capabilities and paired them with several macroecological variables that reflect urbanization impacts. Establishing predictive traits will provide managers and policy makers inference on how unstudied species will respond to ANLN. Additionally, this trait-based approach has the potential to inform mitigation efforts through an understanding of the mechanisms by which ANLN affects wildlife. 
Ecology and Conservation of Birds II   Student Paper