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The Combined Effects of Remnant Vegetation and Tree Planting on Farmland Birds

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Biodiversity conservation on agricultural land is a major issue worldwide. We estimated separate and joint effects of remnant native woodland vegetation and recent tree plantings on birds on farms (approximately 500–1000 ha) in the heavily cleared wheat and sheep belt of southern Australia. Much of the variation (>70%) in bird responses was explained by 3 factors: remnant native-vegetation attributes (native grassland, scattered paddock trees, patches of remnant native woodland); presence or absence of planted native trees; and the size and shape of tree plantings. In terms of the number of species, remnant native vegetation was more important than tree planting, in a 3:1 ratio, approximately. Farms with high values for remnant native vegetation were those most likely to support declining or vulnerable species, although some individual species of conservation concern occurred on farms with large plantings. Farm management for improved bird conservation should account for the cumulative and complementary contributions of many components of remnant native-vegetation cover (e.g., scattered paddock trees and fallen timber) as well as areas of restored native vegetation.
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Keywords: aves de tierras agrícolas; bosques nativos remanentes; farmland birds; landscape restoration; native remnant woodlands; replanted native vegetation; restauración del paisaje; vegetación nativa resembrada

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T. 0200, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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