Non-uniform bird assemblages in urban environments : the influence of streetscape vegetation

White, John G., Antos, Mark J., Fitzsimons, James and Palmer, Grant C. 2005, Non-uniform bird assemblages in urban environments : the influence of streetscape vegetation, Landscape and urban planning, vol. 71, no. 2-4, pp. 123-135, doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2004.02.006.

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Title Non-uniform bird assemblages in urban environments : the influence of streetscape vegetation
Author(s) White, John G.ORCID iD for White, John G.
Antos, Mark J.
Fitzsimons, JamesORCID iD for Fitzsimons, James
Palmer, Grant C.
Journal name Landscape and urban planning
Volume number 71
Issue number 2-4
Start page 123
End page 135
Total pages 13 p.
Publisher Elsevier BV
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2005-03-28
ISSN 0169-2046
Keyword(s) urban ecosystems
bird guilds
introduced birds
Summary The urban landscape encompasses a broad spectrum of variable environments ranging from remnant patches to highly modified streetscapes. Despite the expansion of urban environments, few studies have examined the influence of urbanization on faunal diversity, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. In this study, four broad habitat types were recognized in the urban environment, representing a continuum of modification ranging from parks with remnant vegetation to streetscapes dominated by native vegetation and those dominated by exotic vegetation to recently developed streetscapes. Bird censuses were conducted at 36 sites throughout urban Melbourne, with nine sites surveyed in each habitat type. The four habitat types supported significantly different bird communities based on species richness, abundance and composition suggesting that bird assemblages of urban environments are non-uniform. Parks and native streetscapes generally supported fewer introduced species than exotic and recently developed streetscapes. Overall abundance and richness of species were lower in the exotic and recently developed streetscapes than in parks and native streetscapes. Significant differences were also observed in foraging guilds within the four habitat types, with parks having the most foraging guilds and recently developed streetscapes having the fewest. The transition from native to exotic streetscapes saw the progressive loss of insectivorous and nectarivorous species reflecting a reliance by these species on structurally diverse and/or native vegetation for both shelter and food resources. The implementation of effective strategies and incentives which encourage the planting of structurally diverse native vegetation in streetscapes and gardens should be paramount if avian biodiversity is to be retained and enhanced in urban environments. It is also critical to encourage the maintenance of the existing remnant vegetation in the urban environment.
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Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2004.02.006
Field of Research 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Elsevier B.V.
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