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What makes an effective restoration planting for woodland birds?




Knight, Emma
Crane, Mason
Montague-Drake, Rebecca
Michael, Damian
MacGregor, Chris
Lindenmayer, David B

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Large-scale vegetation clearing accompanying agricultural development has been a major driver of biodiversity loss. Efforts to reverse this problem have often included revegetation, but the value of revegetated areas for biodiversity is poorly known. We addressed aspects of this knowledge gap using a case study in south-eastern Australia. We quantified relationships between bird species richness and the probability of detection for eight individual bird species and: (i) the context of a planting, i.e. the types of the vegetation cover in the neighborhood of a planting, (ii) the configuration of a planting, i.e. the location and geometry of a planting, and, (iii) the content of planting, i.e. the vegetation features of a planting. The presence and nature of the effects of these explanatory variables varied with each of our response variables. A combination of context, configuration and content variables were needed to explain the variability in species richness and the presence of individual species. Context effects were highly significant, particularly the amount of planted and remnant native vegetation surrounding plantings. We speculate that when the area surrounding a planting was potentially suitable, recognition of planting "patch" boundaries disappeared and, correspondingly, configuration effects such as planting size were limited. Our results suggest that maximizing the value of planted areas for bird biota requires consideration not only of the features of the vegetation within a planting, but also where a planting is placed.



Keywords: agricultural land; bird; native species; plantation; restoration ecology; revegetation; species richness; temperate environment; vegetation cover; woodland; Australia; Aves Agricultural landscapes; Australia; Birds; Context; Planting size and shape; Planting structure; Temperate woodlands



Biological Conservation


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