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Functional and spatial differentiation of urban bird assemblages at the landscape scale


Conole, LE and Kirkpatrick, JB, Functional and spatial differentiation of urban bird assemblages at the landscape scale, Landscape and Urban Planning, 100, (1-2) pp. 11-23. ISSN 0169-2046 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2010.11.007


We studied the diversity and distribution of diurnal birds in a large city in south-eastern Australia. Approximately 220,000 bird records were extracted from the Atlas of Australian Birds project (1998–2002) for Melbourne, and filtered on the basis of representativeness in surveys. The filtered data for 142 species were subjected to cluster analysis to recognise assemblages, and ordination and guild analysis to determine spatial and functional organisation. Measures of the intensity of urbanisation and environmental characteristics of Melbourne were used to test the separation of the avifauna into broad urban tolerant and urban avoider assemblages and subassemblages. Distribution and relative abundance of urban tolerant birds were found to be positively associated with areas of higher urban intensity, while urban avoiders were associated with areas of lower urban intensity in natural areas within the urban matrix or along its periphery. Urban tolerant species are medium-sized, generalist foragers, which use cavities and canopy sites for nesting, while urban avoiders are either small or very large, foraging specialists (particularly insectivores), which nest on or near the ground as well as in the canopy or shrub layer. Our study confirms that cities do include habitats that are important for a number of urban adapted birds, and suggests ways in which conserving bird diversity can be accommodated in urban planning frameworks.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Conole, LE (Mr Lawrence Conole)
UTAS Author:Kirkpatrick, JB (Professor James Kirkpatrick)
ID Code:77761
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:56
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2012-05-24
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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