The interaction between land use and catchment physiognomy: understanding avifaunal patterns of the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia

Steven Camilleri, Jim THOMSON, Ralph MAC NALLY

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim We assessed whether different patterns of land use within similar physiognomic catchments (= watersheds) produced discernible effects on avian assemblages and, if so, whether such effects were related to particular land-use activities (e.g. extensive cropping). Location Murray–Darling Basin in south-eastern Australia. Methods We used a recently (2007) published physiognomic classification of catchments based on different stream orders as our template. We used a subset of data from the second Birds Australia atlas to calculate reporting rates for each species in each subcatchment. We linked these two sets of data with proportions of major land uses within catchments to identify whether differences in proportions of land uses altered the expected avifauna for catchments of the same nominal physiognomic class. Results A significant proportion of the variation in bird reporting rates was explained by the physiognomic classification. Additional explanatory power resulted from including an interaction matrix of land-use covariates. Livestock grazing was a major explanatory variable in classes characterized by more mountainous catchments. Cropping affected avifaunas consistently by producing a more uniform assemblage. Main conclusions The physiognomic template was an important determinant of avifaunal composition, but its interaction with land-use variation within physiognomic classes doubled the amount of variance explained. Within a physiognomic class, if one identifies the ‘ideal’ avifaunal composition for that class one can identify land-use mixes that are most likely to be beneficial for the avifaunas of that class and recommend directions for large-scale management objectives vis-a-vis mixtures of land-use types.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-304
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biogeography
Volume37
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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vegetation structure
land use
catchment
basins
basin
cropping practice
bird
taxonomy
subwatersheds
avifauna
birds
atlas
livestock
grazing
watershed
matrix

Cite this

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title = "The interaction between land use and catchment physiognomy: understanding avifaunal patterns of the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia",
abstract = "Aim We assessed whether different patterns of land use within similar physiognomic catchments (= watersheds) produced discernible effects on avian assemblages and, if so, whether such effects were related to particular land-use activities (e.g. extensive cropping). Location Murray–Darling Basin in south-eastern Australia. Methods We used a recently (2007) published physiognomic classification of catchments based on different stream orders as our template. We used a subset of data from the second Birds Australia atlas to calculate reporting rates for each species in each subcatchment. We linked these two sets of data with proportions of major land uses within catchments to identify whether differences in proportions of land uses altered the expected avifauna for catchments of the same nominal physiognomic class. Results A significant proportion of the variation in bird reporting rates was explained by the physiognomic classification. Additional explanatory power resulted from including an interaction matrix of land-use covariates. Livestock grazing was a major explanatory variable in classes characterized by more mountainous catchments. Cropping affected avifaunas consistently by producing a more uniform assemblage. Main conclusions The physiognomic template was an important determinant of avifaunal composition, but its interaction with land-use variation within physiognomic classes doubled the amount of variance explained. Within a physiognomic class, if one identifies the ‘ideal’ avifaunal composition for that class one can identify land-use mixes that are most likely to be beneficial for the avifaunas of that class and recommend directions for large-scale management objectives vis-a-vis mixtures of land-use types.",
keywords = "Australia, biodiversity, bird atlas, birds, catchment, multivariate correlations, watershed.",
author = "Steven Camilleri and Jim THOMSON and {MAC NALLY}, Ralph",
year = "2010",
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The interaction between land use and catchment physiognomy: understanding avifaunal patterns of the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia. / Camilleri, Steven; THOMSON, Jim; MAC NALLY, Ralph.

In: Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 37, 2010, p. 293-304.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The interaction between land use and catchment physiognomy: understanding avifaunal patterns of the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia

AU - Camilleri, Steven

AU - THOMSON, Jim

AU - MAC NALLY, Ralph

PY - 2010

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N2 - Aim We assessed whether different patterns of land use within similar physiognomic catchments (= watersheds) produced discernible effects on avian assemblages and, if so, whether such effects were related to particular land-use activities (e.g. extensive cropping). Location Murray–Darling Basin in south-eastern Australia. Methods We used a recently (2007) published physiognomic classification of catchments based on different stream orders as our template. We used a subset of data from the second Birds Australia atlas to calculate reporting rates for each species in each subcatchment. We linked these two sets of data with proportions of major land uses within catchments to identify whether differences in proportions of land uses altered the expected avifauna for catchments of the same nominal physiognomic class. Results A significant proportion of the variation in bird reporting rates was explained by the physiognomic classification. Additional explanatory power resulted from including an interaction matrix of land-use covariates. Livestock grazing was a major explanatory variable in classes characterized by more mountainous catchments. Cropping affected avifaunas consistently by producing a more uniform assemblage. Main conclusions The physiognomic template was an important determinant of avifaunal composition, but its interaction with land-use variation within physiognomic classes doubled the amount of variance explained. Within a physiognomic class, if one identifies the ‘ideal’ avifaunal composition for that class one can identify land-use mixes that are most likely to be beneficial for the avifaunas of that class and recommend directions for large-scale management objectives vis-a-vis mixtures of land-use types.

AB - Aim We assessed whether different patterns of land use within similar physiognomic catchments (= watersheds) produced discernible effects on avian assemblages and, if so, whether such effects were related to particular land-use activities (e.g. extensive cropping). Location Murray–Darling Basin in south-eastern Australia. Methods We used a recently (2007) published physiognomic classification of catchments based on different stream orders as our template. We used a subset of data from the second Birds Australia atlas to calculate reporting rates for each species in each subcatchment. We linked these two sets of data with proportions of major land uses within catchments to identify whether differences in proportions of land uses altered the expected avifauna for catchments of the same nominal physiognomic class. Results A significant proportion of the variation in bird reporting rates was explained by the physiognomic classification. Additional explanatory power resulted from including an interaction matrix of land-use covariates. Livestock grazing was a major explanatory variable in classes characterized by more mountainous catchments. Cropping affected avifaunas consistently by producing a more uniform assemblage. Main conclusions The physiognomic template was an important determinant of avifaunal composition, but its interaction with land-use variation within physiognomic classes doubled the amount of variance explained. Within a physiognomic class, if one identifies the ‘ideal’ avifaunal composition for that class one can identify land-use mixes that are most likely to be beneficial for the avifaunas of that class and recommend directions for large-scale management objectives vis-a-vis mixtures of land-use types.

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KW - biodiversity

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