Bird assemblages of a fragmented agricultural landscape and the relative importance of vegetation structure and landscape pattern

Maree Johnson, Paul Reich, R. Mac Nally

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    26 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Many of the world’s agricultural areas have greatly reduced levels of natural vegetation. This results in highly fragmented mosaic landscapes with multiple land-use types. We examined the importance of vegetation and landscape pattern by comparing the bird assemblages of riparian zones, non-riparian forest patches, and pasture in a fragmented agricultural landscape in south-eastern Australia. Bird surveys were conducted every four weeks at 27 sites in the Goldfields region of central Victoria for one year. The landscape context (position and shape of patches) and vegetation attributes were measured for each site. We found that bird assemblages strongly differed among these landscape elements. Mean abundance was significantly greater at forested patches, and there was a three-fold reduction in species richness at pasture sites. Bird assemblage structure was influenced substantially more by vegetation than by the landscape context of sites. Our results indicate that riparian vegetation is a key element for avian diversity, even in massively altered landscapes. The restoration of riparian vegetation and its connectivity with adjacent forest types would greatly benefit bird assemblages in agricultural areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)185-193
    Number of pages9
    JournalWildlife Research
    Volume34
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Fingerprint

    vegetation structure
    agricultural land
    bird
    vegetation
    birds
    riparian vegetation
    pasture
    Victoria (Australia)
    multiple land use
    pastures
    landscape position
    riparian zone
    riparian areas
    forest types
    connectivity
    species richness
    fold
    land use
    species diversity

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Many of the world’s agricultural areas have greatly reduced levels of natural vegetation. This results in highly fragmented mosaic landscapes with multiple land-use types. We examined the importance of vegetation and landscape pattern by comparing the bird assemblages of riparian zones, non-riparian forest patches, and pasture in a fragmented agricultural landscape in south-eastern Australia. Bird surveys were conducted every four weeks at 27 sites in the Goldfields region of central Victoria for one year. The landscape context (position and shape of patches) and vegetation attributes were measured for each site. We found that bird assemblages strongly differed among these landscape elements. Mean abundance was significantly greater at forested patches, and there was a three-fold reduction in species richness at pasture sites. Bird assemblage structure was influenced substantially more by vegetation than by the landscape context of sites. Our results indicate that riparian vegetation is a key element for avian diversity, even in massively altered landscapes. The restoration of riparian vegetation and its connectivity with adjacent forest types would greatly benefit bird assemblages in agricultural areas.",
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    Bird assemblages of a fragmented agricultural landscape and the relative importance of vegetation structure and landscape pattern. / Johnson, Maree; Reich, Paul; Mac Nally, R.

    In: Wildlife Research, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2007, p. 185-193.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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