Species' traits affect the occurrence of birds in a native timber plantation landscape

Pryde, E.C., Nimmo, D.G., Holland, G.J., and Watson, S.J. (2016) Species' traits affect the occurrence of birds in a native timber plantation landscape. Animal Conservation, 19 (6). pp. 526-538.

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Abstract

Many of the world's terrestrial environments are dominated by production land-uses, making the incorporation of production landscapes into conservation strategies critical for halting global biodiversity declines. Two challenges for developing such strategies are: (1) determining species' capacity to survive in production land-uses; and (2) understanding why some species can survive, while others cannot. The interaction between biological traits of organisms and their response to disturbances may assist in resolving these challenges. We compared species and trait composition of 41 lowland rainforest birds among unlogged and forestry production land-uses on New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea. At least 92% of forest species occurred in mature, native Eucalyptus plantation and regrown logged forest. However, composition changes demonstrated successive loss of some species (medium-and large-bodied frugivores, forest specialists) with increasing intensity of disturbance, indicating that forestry management practices can affect the functional composition of forest birds. In contrast to many continental studies where endemism confers susceptibility to disturbance, we found endemic island species widely distributed across all land-uses, reflecting their capacity for colonizing new environments. Ecological traits can help to explain species' responses to landscape management, however, the type and intensity of disturbance and biogeography of the region affect the traits-disturbance interaction. Our study indicates that native plantations may be able to assist with biodiversity conservation while providing production values, but only if they are judiciously managed in concert with unlogged and regrown logged forest reserves.

Item ID: 47132
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-1795
Keywords: disturbance, land use, forestry, species traits, native Eucalyptus plantation, timber
Funders: James Cook University, Australia Pacific Science Foundation, Oregon Zoo Futures Fund, Skyrail Rainforest Foundation
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2017 07:49
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960804 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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