Determinants of native avian richness in suburban remnant vegetation : implications for conservation planning

Palmer, Grant C., Fitzsimons, James A., Antos, Mark J. and White, John G. 2008, Determinants of native avian richness in suburban remnant vegetation : implications for conservation planning, Biological conservation, vol. 141, no. 9, pp. 2329-2341, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2008.06.025.

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Title Determinants of native avian richness in suburban remnant vegetation : implications for conservation planning
Author(s) Palmer, Grant C.
Fitzsimons, James A.ORCID iD for Fitzsimons, James A.
Antos, Mark J.
White, John G.ORCID iD for White, John G.
Journal name Biological conservation
Volume number 141
Issue number 9
Start page 2329
End page 2341
Total pages 13
Publisher Elsevier B. V.
Place of publication Netherlands
Publication date 2008-09
ISSN 0006-3207
Keyword(s) Remnant area
Bird richness
Vegetation structure
Riparian vegetation
Urban landscape
Summary While urban areas are increasingly recognized as having potential value for biodiversity conservation, the relationship between biodiversity and the structure and configuration of the urban landscape is poorly understood. In this study we surveyed birds in 39 remnant patches of native vegetation of various sizes (range 1–107 ha) embedded in the suburban matrix in Melbourne, Australia. The total richness of species within remnants was strongly associated with the size of remnants. Remnant-reliant species displayed a much stronger response to remnant area than matrix-tolerant species indicating the importance of large remnants in maintaining representative bird assemblages. Large remnants are important for other ecological groups of species including migratory species, ground foraging birds and canopy foraging birds. Other landscape (e.g. amount of riparian vegetation) and structural components (e.g. shrub cover) of remnants have a lesser role in determining the richness of individual remnants. This research provides conservation managers and planners with a hierarchical process to reserve design and management in order to conserve the highest richness of native species within urban areas. First of all, conservation efforts should preferentially focus on the retention of larger remnants of native vegetation. Second, where possible, riparian vegetation should be included within reserves or, where it is already present, should be carefully managed to ensure its integrity. Third, efforts should be focused at maintaining appropriate habitat and vegetation structure and complexity.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2008.06.025
Indigenous content on
Field of Research 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Elsevier Ltd
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