Global macroecology of bird assemblages in urbanized and semi-natural ecosystems.

Pautasso, M., Böhning-Gaese, K., Clergeau, P., Cueto, V. R., Dinetti, M., Fernández-Juricic, E., Kaisanlahti-Jokimäki, M.-L., Jokimäki, J., McKinney, M. L., Sodhi, N. S., Sodhi, N. S., Tomialojc, L., Weisberg, P. J., Woinarski, J., Fuller, R. A. and Cantarello, E., 2011. Global macroecology of bird assemblages in urbanized and semi-natural ecosystems. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 20 (3), pp. 426-436.

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00616.x


Aim  Despite the increasing pace of urbanization, little is known about how this process affects biodiversity globally. We investigate macroecological patterns of bird assemblages in urbanized areas relative to semi-natural ecosystems. Location  World-wide. Methods  We use a database of quantitative bird surveys to compare key assemblage structure parameters for plots in urbanized and semi-natural ecosystems controlling for spatial autocorrelation and survey methodology. We use the term ‘urbanized’ instead of ‘urban’ ecosystems as many of the plots were not located in the centre of towns but in remnant habitat patches within conurbations. Results  Some macroecological relationships were conserved in urbanized landscapes. Species–area, species–abundance and species–biomass relationships did not differ significantly between urbanized and non-urbanized environments. However, there were differences in the relationships between productivity and assemblage structure. In forests, species richness increased with productivity; in both forests and open habitats, the evenness of species abundances declined as productivity increased. Among urbanized plots, instead, both species richness and the evenness of species abundances were independent of variation in productivity. Main conclusions  Remnant habitats within urbanized areas are subject to many ecological alterations, yet key macroecological patterns differ remarkably little in urbanized versus non-urbanized plots. Our results support the need for increased conservation activities in urbanized landscapes, particularly given the additional benefits of local experiences of biodiversity for the human population. With increasing urbanization world-wide, broad-scale efforts are needed to understand and manage the effects of this driver of change on biodiversity.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Birds conservation biogeography environmental impacts habitat heterogeneity more-individuals hypothesis rarity scale species–energy relationship species–people coexistence urban ecology
Subjects:Science > Biology and Botany
Geography and Environmental Studies
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:18782
Deposited By:Dr Elena Cantarello
Deposited On:08 Nov 2011 11:45
Last Modified:10 Sep 2014 15:53


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