Conserving long unburnt vegetation is important for bird species, guilds and diversity

Davis, Robert A., Doherty, Timothy, van Etten, Eddie J.B., Radford, James Q, Holmes, Floyd, Knuckey, Chris and Davis, Belinda J. 2016, Conserving long unburnt vegetation is important for bird species, guilds and diversity, Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 25, no. 13, pp. 2709-2722, doi: 10.1007/s10531-016-1196-5.

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Title Conserving long unburnt vegetation is important for bird species, guilds and diversity
Author(s) Davis, Robert A.
Doherty, TimothyORCID iD for Doherty, Timothy orcid.org/0000-0001-7745-0251
van Etten, Eddie J.B.
Radford, James Q
Holmes, Floyd
Knuckey, Chris
Davis, Belinda J.
Journal name Biodiversity and Conservation
Volume number 25
Issue number 13
Start page 2709
End page 2722
Total pages 13
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-12
ISSN 0960-3115
1572-9710
Summary Landscape-level wildfires have a major role in structuring faunal assemblages, particularly in fire-prone landscapes. These effects are mediated by changes to vegetation structure and composition that directly influence the availability of shelter, feeding and breeding resources. We investigated the response of a semi-arid shrubland bird community in Western Australia to the prevailing fire regime by examining the abundance, diversity and guild structure in relation to time since fire. We also examined vegetation structural attributes in relation to time since fire. We surveyed 32 sites ranging in age from 12 to 84 years since last fire. A total of 845 birds from 40 species were recorded. Vegetation structure varied with fire history with old and very old sites characterised by less bare ground, more leaf litter cover and greater canopy cover. Bird community composition varied with time since fire, driven by increased bird species richness and abundance of insectivores, granivores/frugivores, golden whistlers, grey shrike-thrush and red-capped robins with time since fire. Frequent, intense landscape-scale fires transform the landscape into homogeneous young shrublands, which may render vegetation unsuitable for several species and guilds.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10531-016-1196-5
Field of Research 050205 Environmental Management
0501 Ecological Applications
0502 Environmental Science And Management
0602 Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30086241

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