EurekaMag.com logo
+ Site Statistics
References:
52,725,316
Abstracts:
28,411,598
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
EurekaMag Most Shared ContentMost Shared
EurekaMag PDF Full Text ContentPDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full TextRequest PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on FacebookFollow on Facebook
Follow on TwitterFollow on Twitter
Follow on Google+Follow on Google+
Follow on LinkedInFollow on LinkedIn

+ Translate

Land use, habitat change and the conservation of birds in fragmented rural environments: A landscape perspective from the Northern Plains, Victoria, Australia


Pacific Conservation Biology 3(3): 244-261, Sept
Land use, habitat change and the conservation of birds in fragmented rural environments: A landscape perspective from the Northern Plains, Victoria, Australia
Studies of the effects of habitat fragmentation on birds have mainly been carried out at the patch scale, by censusing birds in patches of different size, shape or composition, Here, we use data collected by observers for the Atlas of Australian Birds from 10' latitude/longitude grid cells (landscapes), each 277 km2 in size, to examine the effects of land use and habitat change at the landscape scale in the Northern Plains region of Victoria, Australia. Land birds were tallied for 63 such landscapes and species were classed as "woodland' or "other" species. Attributes measured for each landscape represented natural environmental variation, tree cover and the intensity of human settlement. The Northern Plains has experienced profound environmental change over the last century of agricultural settlement and tree cover now occupies only 6.2% of the region, mostly as large riverine forests. Eighty per cent of landscapes have less than 10% tree cover. Woodland birds showed substantial variation in richness between landscapes and, after accounting for sampling effort, species richness was best predicted by total tree cover and measures of environmental variation (e.g., number of streams). "Other" birds were more evenly distributed between landscapes. Species richness was best predicted by the environmental gradient in rainfall and temperature, although this accounted for only a small amount of variance after correcting for sampling effort. The predictive model for woodland birds indicates that this group is sensitive to habitat change, and implies a substantial loss of species in landscapes that have been almost entirely cleared of woodland habitat. The logarithmic nature of the relationship means that the rate of change in species richness is greatest during the final stages of habitat depletion. With median tree cover of 3.7% for landscapes in the region, this relationship supports the contention that a major decline in woodland birds is underway and that species are being lost from whole landscapes across the region. Attributes associated with landscapes of high conservation value for birds include: extensive overall tree cover, large blocks of woodland habitat, and stream systems with associated habitat connectivity. In this region, these attributes are more likely to occur in areas with broad-acre agriculture rather than intensive irrigation. The analysis suggests that at least 1 0% tree cover is a minimum goal for an infrastructure of natural vegetation in rural landscapes to prevent serious decline and loss in the woodland avifauna.


Accession: 008943099



Related references

Conservation of woodland birds in a fragmented rural landscape. Pacific Conservation Biology 1(3): 245-256, 1994

Roadside vegetation in Australia: conservation values and function of a linear habitat network in rural environments. Hedgerows of the world: their ecological functions in different landscapes Proceedings of the 10th Annual Conference of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, held at Birmingham University, 5th-8th September 2001: 231-240, 2001

Land rehabilitation and the conservation of birds in a degraded Afromontane landscape in northern Ethiopia. Biodiversity and Conservation 17(1): 53-69, 2008

Late Miocene glacier dynamics change in northern Victoria Land as inferred by volcanic rocks and landscape evolution. Pages 27 1999, 1999

Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(37): 10430-5, 2016

The effect of habitat alteration on migratory land birds in a west mexican tropical deciduous forest a conservation perspective. Conservation Biology 3(2): 138-148, 1989

Behavioral mechanisms and habitat use by birds in a fragmented agricultural landscape. Ecological Applications ember; 10(6): 1732-1748, 2000

Avian response to landscape change in fragmented southern Great Plains grasslands. Ecological Applications ruary; 11(1): 47-59, 2001

Climate change, northern birds of conservation concern and matching the hotspots of habitat suitability with the reserve network. Plos One 8(5): E63376-E63376, 2013

Frugivory and habitat use by fruit-eating birds in a fragmented landscape of southeast Brazil. Ornitologia Neotropical 15: 117-126 (Supplement), 2004