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The disproportionate value of scattered trees

Fischer, Joern; Newport, Jenny; Law, Bradley S.

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Scattered trees are declining in agricultural landscapes worldwide. They are considered keystone structures because their effect on ecosystem functioning is believed to be disproportionate relative to the small area occupied by any individual tree. We empirically demonstrate the disproportionate value of scattered trees for birds and bats in an Australian livestock grazing landscape. We surveyed birds at 108 sites and bats at 63 sites. Sites spanned the full range of tree densities in the study...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorFischer, Joern
dc.contributor.authorNewport, Jenny
dc.contributor.authorLaw, Bradley S.
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T23:20:03Z
dc.identifier.issn0006-3207
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/66153
dc.description.abstractScattered trees are declining in agricultural landscapes worldwide. They are considered keystone structures because their effect on ecosystem functioning is believed to be disproportionate relative to the small area occupied by any individual tree. We empirically demonstrate the disproportionate value of scattered trees for birds and bats in an Australian livestock grazing landscape. We surveyed birds at 108 sites and bats at 63 sites. Sites spanned the full range of tree densities in the study area, from zero to over 100 trees per hectare. The marginal value of individual trees was highest when trees occurred at low densities. Compared to treeless sites, bird richness doubled with the presence of the first tree; bat richness tripled with the presence of 3-5 trees; and bat activity increased by a factor of 100 with the presence of 3-5 trees. Thereafter, the marginal effect of additional trees on birds and bats diminished rapidly. Although specialist species were restricted to large areas of dense tree cover, scattered trees effectively maintained moderate levels of bird and bat activity throughout largely cleared parts of the landscape. Future management activities should recognize the disproportionate value of scattered trees.
dc.publisherElsevier
dc.sourceBiological Conservation
dc.subjectKeywords: agricultural land; bat; bird; ecosystem function; environmental management; environmental values; grazing; habitat availability; habitat management; livestock; population decline; regeneration; species richness; vegetation structure; Australia Bats; Birds; Isolated trees; Keystone structures; Paddock trees; Scattered trees; Tree decline; Tree regeneration
dc.titleThe disproportionate value of scattered trees
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume143
dc.date.issued2010
local.identifier.absfor050104 - Landscape Ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationf2965xPUB1231
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationFischer, Joern, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationNewport, Jenny, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationLaw, Bradley S., Forest and Rangeland Ecosystems
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue6
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1564
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage1567
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.biocon.2010.03.030
local.identifier.absseo960806 - Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T08:10:33Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-77954815470
local.identifier.thomsonID000278572300028
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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