Avifaunal disarray: Quantifying models of the occurrence and ecological effects of a despotic bird species

Jim THOMSON, Martine Maron, Merilyn J. Grey, Carla P. Catterall, Richard E. Major, Damon L. Oliver, Michael F. Clarke, Richard H. Loyn, Ian Davidson, Dean Ingwersen, Doug Robinson, Alex Kutt, Michael Macdonald, Ralph MAC NALLY

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aim: Strongly interacting species have disproportionately large ecological effects relative to their abundances or biomass. We previously developed two conceptual models that described how one such strong interactor, the Australian bird the noisy miner Manorina melanocephala: (1) establishes resident high-density and hyperaggressive colonies and (2) in doing so, affects other biota and ecosystem processes. Here, we evaluate parts of those models relating to noisy miner habitat preferences and effects on bird assemblages using data from across the geographical range of the miner. Location: Eastern Australia. Methods: Avian-assemblage data were compiled for 2 128 survey transects (distributed over > 1.3 × 106 km2) and were linked to variables reflecting productivity, local habitat structure and landscape context. Predictors were chosen based on the models, although detailed data for some variables were unavailable at such large scales. We used hierarchical Bayesian models that included observation models to account for different survey effort coupled with potentially nonlinear, spatially-explicit process models. Conclusions: Noisy miner densities increased with proximity to forest edges (higher densities on forest edges and open sites), in low rainfall areas, and in vegetation dominated by trees with blade-shaped rather than needle-shaped leaves. The presence of noisy miners at even relatively small densities (> 0.6 individuals ha-1) depressed both species richness and the abundances of smaller (<63 g) bird species, by 50% on average. There were positive associations between densities of noisy miners and the abundance and richness of larger-bodied (> 63 g) bird species. In areas with higher mean rainfall, the associations between noisy miners and small- and large-bird species were more negative and less positive, respectively.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)451-464
    Number of pages14
    JournalDiversity and Distributions
    Volume21
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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    birds
    forest edge
    edge effects
    bird
    rain
    rainfall
    habitat structure
    habitat preferences
    habitat selection
    bird species
    effect
    biota
    transect
    species richness
    species diversity
    productivity
    vegetation
    ecosystems
    ecosystem
    biomass

    Cite this

    THOMSON, Jim ; Maron, Martine ; Grey, Merilyn J. ; Catterall, Carla P. ; Major, Richard E. ; Oliver, Damon L. ; Clarke, Michael F. ; Loyn, Richard H. ; Davidson, Ian ; Ingwersen, Dean ; Robinson, Doug ; Kutt, Alex ; Macdonald, Michael ; MAC NALLY, Ralph. / Avifaunal disarray: Quantifying models of the occurrence and ecological effects of a despotic bird species. In: Diversity and Distributions. 2015 ; Vol. 21, No. 4. pp. 451-464.
    @article{eda95287420a44ac81b6ee11163c8972,
    title = "Avifaunal disarray: Quantifying models of the occurrence and ecological effects of a despotic bird species",
    abstract = "Aim: Strongly interacting species have disproportionately large ecological effects relative to their abundances or biomass. We previously developed two conceptual models that described how one such strong interactor, the Australian bird the noisy miner Manorina melanocephala: (1) establishes resident high-density and hyperaggressive colonies and (2) in doing so, affects other biota and ecosystem processes. Here, we evaluate parts of those models relating to noisy miner habitat preferences and effects on bird assemblages using data from across the geographical range of the miner. Location: Eastern Australia. Methods: Avian-assemblage data were compiled for 2 128 survey transects (distributed over > 1.3 × 106 km2) and were linked to variables reflecting productivity, local habitat structure and landscape context. Predictors were chosen based on the models, although detailed data for some variables were unavailable at such large scales. We used hierarchical Bayesian models that included observation models to account for different survey effort coupled with potentially nonlinear, spatially-explicit process models. Conclusions: Noisy miner densities increased with proximity to forest edges (higher densities on forest edges and open sites), in low rainfall areas, and in vegetation dominated by trees with blade-shaped rather than needle-shaped leaves. The presence of noisy miners at even relatively small densities (> 0.6 individuals ha-1) depressed both species richness and the abundances of smaller (<63 g) bird species, by 50{\%} on average. There were positive associations between densities of noisy miners and the abundance and richness of larger-bodied (> 63 g) bird species. In areas with higher mean rainfall, the associations between noisy miners and small- and large-bird species were more negative and less positive, respectively.",
    author = "Jim THOMSON and Martine Maron and Grey, {Merilyn J.} and Catterall, {Carla P.} and Major, {Richard E.} and Oliver, {Damon L.} and Clarke, {Michael F.} and Loyn, {Richard H.} and Ian Davidson and Dean Ingwersen and Doug Robinson and Alex Kutt and Michael Macdonald and {MAC NALLY}, Ralph",
    year = "2015",
    doi = "10.1111/ddi.12294",
    language = "English",
    volume = "21",
    pages = "451--464",
    journal = "Diversity and Distributions",
    issn = "1366-9516",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
    number = "4",

    }

    THOMSON, J, Maron, M, Grey, MJ, Catterall, CP, Major, RE, Oliver, DL, Clarke, MF, Loyn, RH, Davidson, I, Ingwersen, D, Robinson, D, Kutt, A, Macdonald, M & MAC NALLY, R 2015, 'Avifaunal disarray: Quantifying models of the occurrence and ecological effects of a despotic bird species', Diversity and Distributions, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 451-464. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12294

    Avifaunal disarray: Quantifying models of the occurrence and ecological effects of a despotic bird species. / THOMSON, Jim; Maron, Martine; Grey, Merilyn J.; Catterall, Carla P.; Major, Richard E.; Oliver, Damon L.; Clarke, Michael F.; Loyn, Richard H.; Davidson, Ian; Ingwersen, Dean; Robinson, Doug; Kutt, Alex; Macdonald, Michael; MAC NALLY, Ralph.

    In: Diversity and Distributions, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2015, p. 451-464.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Avifaunal disarray: Quantifying models of the occurrence and ecological effects of a despotic bird species

    AU - THOMSON, Jim

    AU - Maron, Martine

    AU - Grey, Merilyn J.

    AU - Catterall, Carla P.

    AU - Major, Richard E.

    AU - Oliver, Damon L.

    AU - Clarke, Michael F.

    AU - Loyn, Richard H.

    AU - Davidson, Ian

    AU - Ingwersen, Dean

    AU - Robinson, Doug

    AU - Kutt, Alex

    AU - Macdonald, Michael

    AU - MAC NALLY, Ralph

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - Aim: Strongly interacting species have disproportionately large ecological effects relative to their abundances or biomass. We previously developed two conceptual models that described how one such strong interactor, the Australian bird the noisy miner Manorina melanocephala: (1) establishes resident high-density and hyperaggressive colonies and (2) in doing so, affects other biota and ecosystem processes. Here, we evaluate parts of those models relating to noisy miner habitat preferences and effects on bird assemblages using data from across the geographical range of the miner. Location: Eastern Australia. Methods: Avian-assemblage data were compiled for 2 128 survey transects (distributed over > 1.3 × 106 km2) and were linked to variables reflecting productivity, local habitat structure and landscape context. Predictors were chosen based on the models, although detailed data for some variables were unavailable at such large scales. We used hierarchical Bayesian models that included observation models to account for different survey effort coupled with potentially nonlinear, spatially-explicit process models. Conclusions: Noisy miner densities increased with proximity to forest edges (higher densities on forest edges and open sites), in low rainfall areas, and in vegetation dominated by trees with blade-shaped rather than needle-shaped leaves. The presence of noisy miners at even relatively small densities (> 0.6 individuals ha-1) depressed both species richness and the abundances of smaller (<63 g) bird species, by 50% on average. There were positive associations between densities of noisy miners and the abundance and richness of larger-bodied (> 63 g) bird species. In areas with higher mean rainfall, the associations between noisy miners and small- and large-bird species were more negative and less positive, respectively.

    AB - Aim: Strongly interacting species have disproportionately large ecological effects relative to their abundances or biomass. We previously developed two conceptual models that described how one such strong interactor, the Australian bird the noisy miner Manorina melanocephala: (1) establishes resident high-density and hyperaggressive colonies and (2) in doing so, affects other biota and ecosystem processes. Here, we evaluate parts of those models relating to noisy miner habitat preferences and effects on bird assemblages using data from across the geographical range of the miner. Location: Eastern Australia. Methods: Avian-assemblage data were compiled for 2 128 survey transects (distributed over > 1.3 × 106 km2) and were linked to variables reflecting productivity, local habitat structure and landscape context. Predictors were chosen based on the models, although detailed data for some variables were unavailable at such large scales. We used hierarchical Bayesian models that included observation models to account for different survey effort coupled with potentially nonlinear, spatially-explicit process models. Conclusions: Noisy miner densities increased with proximity to forest edges (higher densities on forest edges and open sites), in low rainfall areas, and in vegetation dominated by trees with blade-shaped rather than needle-shaped leaves. The presence of noisy miners at even relatively small densities (> 0.6 individuals ha-1) depressed both species richness and the abundances of smaller (<63 g) bird species, by 50% on average. There were positive associations between densities of noisy miners and the abundance and richness of larger-bodied (> 63 g) bird species. In areas with higher mean rainfall, the associations between noisy miners and small- and large-bird species were more negative and less positive, respectively.

    U2 - 10.1111/ddi.12294

    DO - 10.1111/ddi.12294

    M3 - Article

    VL - 21

    SP - 451

    EP - 464

    JO - Diversity and Distributions

    JF - Diversity and Distributions

    SN - 1366-9516

    IS - 4

    ER -