Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 20, Issue 14, pp 3663–3681

Taxonomic and functional diversity of farmland bird communities across Europe: effects of biogeography and agricultural intensification

Authors

  • Irene Guerrero
    • Terrestrial Ecology Group, Department of EcologyAutonomous University of Madrid
    • Terrestrial Ecology Group, Department of EcologyAutonomous University of Madrid
  • Juan J. Oñate
    • Terrestrial Ecology Group, Department of EcologyAutonomous University of Madrid
  • Tsipe Aavik
    • Instute of Botany and EcologyUniversity of Tartu
  • Jan Bengtsson
    • Department of EcologySwedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Frank Berendse
    • Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology GroupWageningen University
  • Lars W. Clement
    • Institute of EcologyFriedrich-Schiller-University of Jena
  • Christopher Dennis
    • Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant SciencesUniversity College of Cork
  • Sönke Eggers
    • Department of EcologySwedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Mark Emmerson
    • Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant SciencesUniversity College of Cork
  • Christina Fischer
    • Department of AgroecologyGeorg-August-University Goettingen
  • Andreas Flohre
    • Department of AgroecologyGeorg-August-University Goettingen
  • Flavia Geiger
    • Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology GroupWageningen University
  • Violetta Hawro
    • Centre for Ecological ResearchPolish Academy of Sciences
  • Pablo Inchausti
    • CEBC-CNRS
  • Andres Kalamees
    • Instute of Botany and EcologyUniversity of Tartu
  • Riho Kinks
    • Instute of Botany and EcologyUniversity of Tartu
  • Jaan Liira
    • Instute of Botany and EcologyUniversity of Tartu
  • Leandro Meléndez
    • Terrestrial Ecology Group, Department of EcologyAutonomous University of Madrid
  • Tomas Pärt
    • Department of EcologySwedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Carsten Thies
    • Department of AgroecologyGeorg-August-University Goettingen
  • Teja Tscharntke
    • Department of AgroecologyGeorg-August-University Goettingen
  • Adam Olszewski
    • Kampinos National Park
  • Wolfgang W. Weisser
    • Institute of EcologyFriedrich-Schiller-University of Jena
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10531-011-0156-3

Cite this article as:
Guerrero, I., Morales, M.B., Oñate, J.J. et al. Biodivers Conserv (2011) 20: 3663. doi:10.1007/s10531-011-0156-3

Abstract

In eight European study sites (in Spain, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Estonia and Sweden), abundance of breeding farmland bird territories was obtained from 500 × 500 m survey plots (30 per area, N = 240) using the mapping method. Two analyses were performed: (I) a Canonical Correspondence Analysis of species abundance in relation to geographical location and variables measuring agricultural intensification at field and farm level to identify significant intensification variables and to estimate the fractions of total variance in bird abundance explained by geography and agricultural intensification; (II) several taxonomic and functional community indices were built and analysed using GLM in relation to the intensification variables found significant in the CCA. The geographical location of study sites alone explains nearly one fifth (19.5%) of total variation in species abundance. The fraction of variance explained by agricultural intensification alone is much smaller (4.3%), although significant. The intersection explains nearly two fifths (37.8%) of variance in species abundance. Community indices are negatively affected by correlates of intensification like farm size and yield, whereas correlates of habitat availability and quality have positive effects on taxonomic and functional diversity of assemblages. Most of the purely geographical variation in farmland bird assemblage composition is associated to Mediterranean steppe species, reflecting the bio-geographical singularity of that assemblage and reinforcing the need to preserve this community. Taxonomic and functional diversity of farmland bird communities are negatively affected by agricultural intensification and positively affected by increasing farmland habitat availability and quality.

Keywords

Agriculture managementBreeding farmland birdsCommunity indicesMediterraneanSteppe birdsVariance partitioning

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011