Does the response of bird assemblages to fire mosaic properties vary among spatial scales and foraging guilds?

Burgess, Emma E. and Maron, Martine. (2015) Does the response of bird assemblages to fire mosaic properties vary among spatial scales and foraging guilds?. Landscape Ecology, 31 3: 687-699. doi:10.1007/s10980-015-0275-4

Author Burgess, Emma E.
Maron, Martine.
Title Does the response of bird assemblages to fire mosaic properties vary among spatial scales and foraging guilds?
Journal name Landscape Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1572-9761
Publication date 2015-09-12
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10980-015-0275-4
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 31
Issue 3
Start page 687
End page 699
Total pages 13
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Formatted abstract
An increasing number of studies have investigated the impact of environmental heterogeneity on faunal assemblages when measured at multiple spatial scales. Few studies, however, have considered how the effects of heterogeneity on fauna vary with the spatial scale at which the response variable is characterised.

We investigated the relationship between landscape properties in a region characterised by diverse fire mosaics, and the structure and composition of avian assemblages measured at both the site- (1 ha) and landscape-scale (100 ha).

We surveyed birds and calculated spatial landscape properties in sub-tropical woodlands of central Queensland, Australia.

Environmental heterogeneity, as measured by topographic complexity, was consistently important for bird species richness and composition. However, the explanatory power of topographic complexity varied depending on the spatial scale and the component of diversity under investigation. We found different correlates of richness within particular foraging guilds depending on the scale at which richness was measured. Extent of long-unburnt habitat (>10 years since fire) was the most important variable for the landscape-scale richness of frugivores, insectivores and canopy feeders, whereas environmental heterogeneity in the surrounding landscape was more important for site-scale richness of these foraging guilds.

The response of species richness to landscape characteristics varies among scales, and among components of diversity. Thus, depending on the scale at which a biodiversity conservation goal is conceptualised—maximising richness at a site, or across a landscape—different landscape management approaches may be preferred.
Keyword Central Queensland
Fire mosaics
Foraging guilds
Spatial heterogeneity
Spatial scale
Woodland birds
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2016 Collection
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