Article

Ecosystems

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 964-974

First online:

Functional Richness and Relative Resilience of Bird Communities in Regions with Different Land Use Intensities

  • J. FischerAffiliated withCentre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University Email author 
  • , D. B. LindenmayerAffiliated withCentre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University
  • , S. P. BlombergAffiliated withCentre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University
  • , R. Montague-DrakeAffiliated withCentre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University
  • , A. FeltonAffiliated withCentre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University
  • , J. A. SteinAffiliated withCentre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University

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Abstract

Empirical estimates of the function and resilience of communities under different management regimes can provide valuable information for sustainable natural resource management, but such estimates are scarce to date. We quantified the functional richness and relative resilience of bird communities inhabiting five regions in southeastern Australia that represented different management regimes. First, we show that functional richness and relative resilience were reduced at species-poor sites in all regions. Second, we show that bird communities in agricultural regions had fewer body mass groups and fewer functional groups than expected by chance. This suggests that both the function and the resilience of bird communities in agricultural regions were reduced. The likely mechanisms for the observed loss of function and relative resilience are: (1) the simplification of landscape texture resulting in selective extinction of certain body mass groups; and (2) the selective extinction of certain functional groups that are particularly sensitive to intensive land use.

Key words

cross-scale redundancy functional diversity functional groups intensive agriculture land use intensification landscape texture redundancy resilience