Threshold effect of eucalypt density on birds in buloke woodlands: the importance of species choice in restoration projects

Maron, Martine (2005) Threshold effect of eucalypt density on birds in buloke woodlands: the importance of species choice in restoration projects. In: 3rd Biennial Australasian Ornithological Conference (AOC2005), 6-10 December 2005, Blenheim, New Zealand.


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The buloke woodlands of south eastern Australia are of high value for bird conservation but are nationally endangered and highly depleted. Buloke is a slow-growing species and current projects aiming to restore buloke woodland usually incorporate a high density of faster-growing eucalypts in plantings. I aimed to determine whether the habitat value of buloke woodland to woodland bird assemblages is altered when eucalypts are present, and in particular, whether a particular density of eucalypts facilitates invasion by agressive noisy miners - a species absent from pure buloke woodland. Transects in 31 buloke woodland sites containing eucalypt densities between .0-16/ha were surveyed three times each over a period of one year. I found that the probability of noisy miner presence in buloke woodland increased markedly where eucalypts were present at a density of approximately five per hectare. This is the likely cause of a substantial difference in bird assemblage structure and composition between sites with >5 eucalypts/ha and those with fewer eucalypts. Low-eucalypt density sites had more hooded robins, dusky woodswallows, varied sittellas and yellow thornbills, all smaller-bodied insectivorous species which are experiencing population declines in southern Australia. Higher eucalypt density sites were characterised by Australian magpies, white-plumed honeyeaters, crested pigeons and eastern rosellas, all common open-country or aggressive species. These findings have implications for revegetation and restoration practices in buloke woodlands, and potentially also in other non-eucalypt woodlands within the range of the noisy miner.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Conference publication consists of only the abstracts of papers presented at the conference. Paper itself was a spoken paper so no print copy available. Abstract only posted here.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:29
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: buloke woodlands; south eastern Australia; threshold effect; eucalypt density; birds
Fields of Research : 10 Technology > 1002 Environmental Biotechnology > 100203 Bioremediation
06 Biological Sciences > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology(excl. Invasive Species Ecology)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity

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