Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Madison Stevens - Oklahoma State University
Co-Author(s): D. Timothy O'Connell, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Ecosystem services are often recognized for their importance in productivity (e.g., Nitrogen fixation) or biosphere support (Oxygen production from photosynthesis). Cultural ecosystem services (e.g., biodiversity appreciation) are no less important to human well-being but can be undervalued when incremental losses go unrecognized by subsequent generations. This phenomenon has been referred to as generational amnesia or more commonly a shifted baseline of biodiversity understanding. The baseline serves as a control for what is considered normal in that ecosystem and is what any changes are measured against. Shifted baselines affect all cultures, but are especially damaging in cultures for which a connection to Nature is emphasized and celebrated as a point of identity. In the United States, the forced relocation of Native American tribes to Oklahoma Territory in the 19th and 20th centuries represents an extreme shifted baseline that for many severed important biodiversity connections in a single generation. The main purpose of this study was to quantify the shifted baseline of breeding bird biodiversity for multiple Native American tribes now based Oklahoma. The data used for this project was collected through eBird, a volunteer-based citizen science database, from fifteen different tribes who currently have jurisdictions in Oklahoma. Additionally, data from the geographic regions where these tribes are originally from prior to their relocation to Oklahoma was also collected. We used beta diversity to quantify estimates of bird community difference and loss between ancestral and Oklahoma lands. Results showed eleven of the fifteen tribes experienced a community dissimilarity over 50% between their ancestral lands and Oklahoma areas. This means these tribes experienced a change in over half of the bird communities, ancestral baseline species, they encountered upon relocation to Oklahoma. This not only shows a significant shift in bird communities experienced by the tribes, but could also provide insight to other drastic shifting baselines these tribes had to endure upon their forced removal from their ancestral lands.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): McNair
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Timothy O'Connell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I came up with the initial idea for the project and worked with Dr. O'Connell in project formation. I read literature over the research topics and wrote a literature review over my findings. From this is I constructed the methods used to complete the project. I also completed the data collection and did the analysis of my results.