Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Mark Myers


In this paper, I researched the habitat requirements of grassland birds in general, including an in-depth analysis of the specific habitat requirements of four selected species: Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), Dickcissel (Spiza Americana), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis). In the second part of my research, I evaluated three possible scenarios that could be used for biomass production in Iowa and reviewed the methods producers employ in establishing and managing their fields. I evaluated area, species diversity, timing of harvest, edge habitats, and fertilizers/chemicals used during production. Then I compared these three biomass production scenarios to the habitat requirements of the four aforementioned grassland birds. I concluded by offering recommendations to biomass producers on how to create a more viable habitat for a variety of grassland birds in their biomass production fields.

Year of Submission



Department of Biology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


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