Resistance and resilience of terrestrial birds in drying climates: Do floodplains provide drought refugia?

Katherine Selwood, Rohan H. Clarke, Melodie McGeoch, Ralph MAC NALLY

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    21 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Climate refugia will become increasingly important for biota as climate change causes an increased frequency and intensity of extreme events, such as drought. Floodplains are potential drought refugia because they have cooler and more mesic microclimates than adjacent areas, and greater water availability through shallower groundwater and flooding. We explored the role of floodplains as drought refugia by estimating the resistance and resilience of terrestrial birds over a 13-year drought (the 'Big Dry') and for 4 years following the break in the drought in floodplain and non-floodplain zones. Location: Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Methods: We used Atlas of Australian Birds survey data from more than 39,000 surveys at over 28,000 sites to estimate trends in reporting rates in floodplain and non-floodplain zones for 144 bird species during extended drought (1998-2009) and in the post-drought period (2010-13). Results: There was greater resistance to drought in floodplain zones: fewer species declined in floodplain zones (19%) than in non-floodplain zones (29%) during the Big Dry, and more species had elevated reporting rates (13% vs. 8%). More species showed a recovery in reporting rates in non-floodplain zones (40.3%) than in floodplain zones (15.3%) during the post-drought period, which was expected because declines during the Big Dry were more common in non-floodplain zones. There was some evidence for limitations in the resilience of floodplain avifauna, with only 17.9% of species that declined in floodplain zones during the drought subsequently recovering. Conclusions: Floodplains appear to enhance resistance to drought for many bird species, and are likely to be particularly important as refugia in areas with an arid climate. However, their role in resilience is less clear. Floodplain ecosystems require long-term management to relieve pressures and to restore their ecological condition so that their role as drought refugia is maintained or enhanced.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)838-848
    Number of pages11
    JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
    Volume24
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint

    refugium
    refuge habitats
    floodplains
    floodplain
    drying
    drought
    bird
    climate
    birds
    avifauna
    extreme event
    microclimate
    coolers
    water availability
    atlas
    arid zones
    biota
    groundwater
    flooding
    climate change

    Cite this

    @article{9b25b6987a6d48e5865d0230144628cc,
    title = "Resistance and resilience of terrestrial birds in drying climates: Do floodplains provide drought refugia?",
    abstract = "Climate refugia will become increasingly important for biota as climate change causes an increased frequency and intensity of extreme events, such as drought. Floodplains are potential drought refugia because they have cooler and more mesic microclimates than adjacent areas, and greater water availability through shallower groundwater and flooding. We explored the role of floodplains as drought refugia by estimating the resistance and resilience of terrestrial birds over a 13-year drought (the 'Big Dry') and for 4 years following the break in the drought in floodplain and non-floodplain zones. Location: Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Methods: We used Atlas of Australian Birds survey data from more than 39,000 surveys at over 28,000 sites to estimate trends in reporting rates in floodplain and non-floodplain zones for 144 bird species during extended drought (1998-2009) and in the post-drought period (2010-13). Results: There was greater resistance to drought in floodplain zones: fewer species declined in floodplain zones (19{\%}) than in non-floodplain zones (29{\%}) during the Big Dry, and more species had elevated reporting rates (13{\%} vs. 8{\%}). More species showed a recovery in reporting rates in non-floodplain zones (40.3{\%}) than in floodplain zones (15.3{\%}) during the post-drought period, which was expected because declines during the Big Dry were more common in non-floodplain zones. There was some evidence for limitations in the resilience of floodplain avifauna, with only 17.9{\%} of species that declined in floodplain zones during the drought subsequently recovering. Conclusions: Floodplains appear to enhance resistance to drought for many bird species, and are likely to be particularly important as refugia in areas with an arid climate. However, their role in resilience is less clear. Floodplain ecosystems require long-term management to relieve pressures and to restore their ecological condition so that their role as drought refugia is maintained or enhanced.",
    author = "Katherine Selwood and Clarke, {Rohan H.} and Melodie McGeoch and {MAC NALLY}, Ralph",
    year = "2015",
    doi = "10.1111/geb.12305",
    language = "English",
    volume = "24",
    pages = "838--848",
    journal = "Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters",
    issn = "1466-822X",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
    number = "7",

    }

    Resistance and resilience of terrestrial birds in drying climates: Do floodplains provide drought refugia? / Selwood, Katherine; Clarke, Rohan H.; McGeoch, Melodie; MAC NALLY, Ralph.

    In: Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 24, No. 7, 2015, p. 838-848.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Resistance and resilience of terrestrial birds in drying climates: Do floodplains provide drought refugia?

    AU - Selwood, Katherine

    AU - Clarke, Rohan H.

    AU - McGeoch, Melodie

    AU - MAC NALLY, Ralph

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - Climate refugia will become increasingly important for biota as climate change causes an increased frequency and intensity of extreme events, such as drought. Floodplains are potential drought refugia because they have cooler and more mesic microclimates than adjacent areas, and greater water availability through shallower groundwater and flooding. We explored the role of floodplains as drought refugia by estimating the resistance and resilience of terrestrial birds over a 13-year drought (the 'Big Dry') and for 4 years following the break in the drought in floodplain and non-floodplain zones. Location: Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Methods: We used Atlas of Australian Birds survey data from more than 39,000 surveys at over 28,000 sites to estimate trends in reporting rates in floodplain and non-floodplain zones for 144 bird species during extended drought (1998-2009) and in the post-drought period (2010-13). Results: There was greater resistance to drought in floodplain zones: fewer species declined in floodplain zones (19%) than in non-floodplain zones (29%) during the Big Dry, and more species had elevated reporting rates (13% vs. 8%). More species showed a recovery in reporting rates in non-floodplain zones (40.3%) than in floodplain zones (15.3%) during the post-drought period, which was expected because declines during the Big Dry were more common in non-floodplain zones. There was some evidence for limitations in the resilience of floodplain avifauna, with only 17.9% of species that declined in floodplain zones during the drought subsequently recovering. Conclusions: Floodplains appear to enhance resistance to drought for many bird species, and are likely to be particularly important as refugia in areas with an arid climate. However, their role in resilience is less clear. Floodplain ecosystems require long-term management to relieve pressures and to restore their ecological condition so that their role as drought refugia is maintained or enhanced.

    AB - Climate refugia will become increasingly important for biota as climate change causes an increased frequency and intensity of extreme events, such as drought. Floodplains are potential drought refugia because they have cooler and more mesic microclimates than adjacent areas, and greater water availability through shallower groundwater and flooding. We explored the role of floodplains as drought refugia by estimating the resistance and resilience of terrestrial birds over a 13-year drought (the 'Big Dry') and for 4 years following the break in the drought in floodplain and non-floodplain zones. Location: Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Methods: We used Atlas of Australian Birds survey data from more than 39,000 surveys at over 28,000 sites to estimate trends in reporting rates in floodplain and non-floodplain zones for 144 bird species during extended drought (1998-2009) and in the post-drought period (2010-13). Results: There was greater resistance to drought in floodplain zones: fewer species declined in floodplain zones (19%) than in non-floodplain zones (29%) during the Big Dry, and more species had elevated reporting rates (13% vs. 8%). More species showed a recovery in reporting rates in non-floodplain zones (40.3%) than in floodplain zones (15.3%) during the post-drought period, which was expected because declines during the Big Dry were more common in non-floodplain zones. There was some evidence for limitations in the resilience of floodplain avifauna, with only 17.9% of species that declined in floodplain zones during the drought subsequently recovering. Conclusions: Floodplains appear to enhance resistance to drought for many bird species, and are likely to be particularly important as refugia in areas with an arid climate. However, their role in resilience is less clear. Floodplain ecosystems require long-term management to relieve pressures and to restore their ecological condition so that their role as drought refugia is maintained or enhanced.

    U2 - 10.1111/geb.12305

    DO - 10.1111/geb.12305

    M3 - Article

    VL - 24

    SP - 838

    EP - 848

    JO - Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters

    JF - Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters

    SN - 1466-822X

    IS - 7

    ER -