Influence of remnant and landscape attributes on Australian woodland bird communities

Influence of remnant and landscape attributes on Australian woodland bird communities This study investigated relationships between the composition of bird communities and remnant and landscape attributes including area, shape, vegetation type and position in the landscape. Vegetation type was the strongest determinant of bird communities. The bird community of river red gum forests was most different from that of white cypress pine woodlands, with the bird communities of other vegetation types intermediate between these two extremes. Honeyeaters and hollow-nesting birds were associated with river red gum forests, whereas small insectivores were associated with white cypress pine woodlands. Bird communities also varied significantly with remnant size. Small insectivores were more likely to be found in remnants larger than 200 ha, whereas noisy miners and grey butcherbirds were more likely to be found in remnants smaller than 100 ha. Vegetation type, remnant area, absence of noisy miners and presence of small insectivores are interrelated. It is likely that the aggressive noisy miner, rather than remnant size per se, determines the presence or absence of small insectivores in remnants. Remnant attributes appeared to be more important than landscape attributes in determining the composition of bird communities, although the widespread occurrence of noisy miners may inhibit the benefits that landscape vegetation might provide. As long as an aggressive edge specialist dominates small remnants and there is a shortage of quality, core patches that might benefit from connectivity, we consider that a focus on landscape connections is a dangerous diversion for efforts directed towards biodiversity conservation. Large, high-quality patches must be established and protected for the conservation of declining birds. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Influence of remnant and landscape attributes on Australian woodland bird communities

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0006-3207(01)00090-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study investigated relationships between the composition of bird communities and remnant and landscape attributes including area, shape, vegetation type and position in the landscape. Vegetation type was the strongest determinant of bird communities. The bird community of river red gum forests was most different from that of white cypress pine woodlands, with the bird communities of other vegetation types intermediate between these two extremes. Honeyeaters and hollow-nesting birds were associated with river red gum forests, whereas small insectivores were associated with white cypress pine woodlands. Bird communities also varied significantly with remnant size. Small insectivores were more likely to be found in remnants larger than 200 ha, whereas noisy miners and grey butcherbirds were more likely to be found in remnants smaller than 100 ha. Vegetation type, remnant area, absence of noisy miners and presence of small insectivores are interrelated. It is likely that the aggressive noisy miner, rather than remnant size per se, determines the presence or absence of small insectivores in remnants. Remnant attributes appeared to be more important than landscape attributes in determining the composition of bird communities, although the widespread occurrence of noisy miners may inhibit the benefits that landscape vegetation might provide. As long as an aggressive edge specialist dominates small remnants and there is a shortage of quality, core patches that might benefit from connectivity, we consider that a focus on landscape connections is a dangerous diversion for efforts directed towards biodiversity conservation. Large, high-quality patches must be established and protected for the conservation of declining birds.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 2001

References

  • Effects of habitat fragmentation on bird species in a relict temperate forest in semiarid Chile
    Cornelius, C.; Cofré, H.; Marquet, P.A.
  • Modeling the effects of habitat fragmentation on source and sink demography of neotropical migrant birds
    Donovan, T.; Lamberson, R.; Kimber, A.; Thompson, F.; Faaborg, J.
  • Forest size and avian diversity in New Jersey woodlots with land use implications
    Forman, R.T.T.; Galli, A.E.; Leck, C.F.
  • Age structure and density of red-capped robin populations vary with habitat size and shape
    Major, R.E.; Christie, F.J.; Gowing, G.; Ivison, T.J.
  • The one-migrant-per-generation rule in conservation and management
    Mills, L.S.; Allendorf, F.W.
  • Australia: State of the Environment 1996
  • Food shortage in small fragments
    Zanette, L.; Doyle, P.; Trémont, S.M.

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