How does a transforming landscape influence bird breeding success?

Sachiko Okada, David B. Lindenmayer, Jeff T. Wood, Mason J. Crane, Jennifer C. Pierson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Context: The conversion of agricultural landscapes to tree plantations is a major form of landscape transformation worldwide, but its effects on biodiversity, particularly key population processes like reproductive success, are poorly understood. Objectives: We compared bird breeding success between woodland remnants surrounded by maturing stands of plantation Radiata Pine and a matched set of woodland remnants in semi-cleared grazing land. Methods: Our study was conducted in the Nanangroe region in south-eastern New South Wales, Australia. Using repeated field measurements, we quantified bird breeding success in 23 woodland remnants; 13 surrounded by Radiata Pine plantations and 10 on farms where remnants were surrounded by semi-cleared grazing land. We matched the attributes of native remnant patches between two types of matrix. Results: We found that: (1) rates of nesting success of smaller-bodied birds in woodland remnants surrounded by grazing land were significantly higher than in woodland remnants surrounded by pine plantations; and (2) taxa with domed nests were more successful at nesting than species that constructed open cup/bowl nests in woodland remnants within farmlands. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that bird breeding success in remnant woodland patches is significantly diminished as a result of the conversion of semi-cleared grazing land to pine plantations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1048
Number of pages10
JournalLandscape Ecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


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