Relative influence of habitat modification and interspecific competition on woodland bird assemblages in eastern Australia

Maron, M. and Main, A. and Bowen, M. and Howes, A. and Kath, J. and Pillette, C. and McAlpine, C. A. (2011) Relative influence of habitat modification and interspecific competition on woodland bird assemblages in eastern Australia. Emu: Austral Ornithology, 111 (1). pp. 40-51. ISSN 0158-4197


Many of eastern Australia’s woodland birds have declined in recent decades. Although historical landscape transformation ultimately underlies these declines, effective conservation action requires knowledge of the relative importance of current threats to woodland birds. Through a literature review and analysis of empirical data from seven woodland regions, we investigated the relative importance of habitat structure, site context and aggressive avian competitors (miners, Manorina spp.) for woodland birds in eastern Australia. The literature review revealed that the factor which most consistently influenced the richness, abundance and assemblage composition of woodland birds was the density or presence of Manorina honeyeaters. A positive effect of site structural complexity was also often reported, but the effects of area, isolation and grazing varied among the reviewed studies. Across the seven empirical datasets, density of Manorina honeyeaters was responsible for the great majority of the independently explained variance in all but one region. We conclude that interspecific competition with Manorina honeyeaters is one of the most important and widespread processes threatening woodland birds in eastern Australia. In regions where this threatening process is prevalent, the greatest conservation gains for woodland birds may therefore be achieved by focussing on reducing habitat suitability for aggressive Manorina honeyeaters.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version, due to publisher's copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department
Date Deposited: 19 May 2011 04:43
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2014 01:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: fragmentation; grazing; habitat structure; manorina; noisy miner; patch area; yellow-throated miner
Fields of Research : 06 Biological Sciences > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1071/MU09108

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