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Avifaunal Use of Wooded Streets in an Urban Landscape

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Abstract:

Birds in urban landscapes primarily occupy parks (  forest fragments), wooded streets ( linear strips connecting fragments), or the urban matrix. I studied the effects of street location in the landscape, vegetation structure, and human disturbance ( pedestrian and automobile load) within wooded streets on bird species richness, temporal persistence, and density of feeding and nesting guilds, and on the probability of street occupation by individual species in Madrid during two consecutive breeding seasons. The number of species recorded increased from the least suitable (control streets without vegetation) to the most suitable habitats (urban parks), with wooded streets being intermediate landscape elements. Fourteen species, belonging to four of the eight guilds identified in this system, were recorded in wooded streets in both years. Streets that connected urban parks, along with vegetation structure, positively influenced the number of species within wooded streets, species persistence, guild density, and probability of occupation of streets by individual species. Human disturbance exerted a negative influence on the same variables. Wooded streets potentially could function as corridors, allowing certain species—particularly those feeding on the ground and breeding in trees or tree holes—to fare well by supporting alternative habitat for feeding and nesting. Local improvements in corridor quality, through increased vegetation complexity and reduced human disturbance, could exert a positive influence on the regional connectivity of the system. Because of differential use of corridors by species with different habitat requirements, however, corridor implementation should also take into account the target species of management.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Depto de Biologia Animal I, Facultad de Biología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid E-28040, Spain,

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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