Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Local and landscape drivers of bird abundance, species richness, and trait composition in urban agroecosystems

Abstract

Urban gardens, or spaces that include vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamental plants, can support bird species and communities by providing food and nesting habitat within urban landscapes. Yet, variation in management of gardens (e.g., garden size, number of tree and shrub species, ground cover) and the landscape (e.g., urban cover, landscape diversity) that surrounds them may alter communities within gardens. We examined how garden management and landscape features influence bird abundance, richness, species composition, and traits in 19 urban community gardens in the central coast of California. We found that bird abundance was higher in larger gardens and in gardens with more grass, and species richness was higher in larger gardens. Bird abundance also differed with garden ecoregion. Urban cover influenced bird species composition while bird trait distributions were influenced by urban cover, ecoregion, and grass cover. Gardens with more urban cover supported fewer insectivores, ground-nesters, and forest-associated birds, higher nesting height and more urban-associated bird species. Gardens in the ecoregion closer to the coast had more cliff nesters and more marsh-associated birds. Although urban cover and ecoregion were important for the composition and trait distribution of birds, manipulation of garden management and size may promote bird species richness, or abundance of functionally important birds in gardens.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Ambardar M, Dunn PO, Whittingham LA (2018) Reproductive and foraging success of the eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) in relation to vegetation height. Wilson J Ornithol 130:362–370

  2. Andersson E, Colding J (2014) Understanding how built urban form influences biodiversity. Urban For Urban Green 13:221–226

  3. Aronson MF, La Sorte FA, Nilon CH et al (2014) A global analysis of the impacts of urbanization on bird and plant diversity reveals key anthropogenic drivers. Proc Roy Soc B Biol Sci 281:20133330

  4. Bakermans MH, Rodewald AD (2006) Scale-dependent habitat use of Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) in Central Ohio. Auk 123:368–382

  5. Barth B, FitzGibbon S, Wilson R (2015) New urban developments that retain more remnant trees have greater bird diversity. Landscape Urban Plan 136:122–129

  6. Barton K (2012) MuMin: multi-model inference. R package version 1.5.2. Available from http://CRAN.R-project.org/package-MuMin

  7. Beissinger SR, Osborne DR (1982) Effects of urbanization on avian community organization. Condor 84:75–83

  8. Bennett A, Gratton C (2012) Local and landscape scale variables impact parasitoid assemblages across an urbanization gradient. Landscape Urban Plan 104:26–33

  9. Breheny P, Burchett W (2013) Visualization of regression models using visreg. R J 9:56–71

  10. Calcagno V, de Mazancourt C (2010) glmulti: an R package for easy automated model selection with (generalized) linear models. J Stat Softw 34:1–29

  11. Chamberlain DE, Cannon AR, Toms MP (2004) Associations of garden birds with gradients in garden habitat and local habitat. Ecography 27:589–600

  12. Coogan SC, Raubenheimer D, Zantis SP, Machovsky-Capuska GE (2018) Multidimensional nutritional ecology and urban birds. Ecosphere 9:e02177

  13. Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2018) http://www.birds.cornell.edu/netcommunity/page.aspx?pid=1636. Accessed 18 July 2018

  14. Croci S, Butet A, Clergeau P (2008) Does urbanization filter birds on the basis of their biological traits. Condor 110:223–240

  15. Crooks KR, Suarez AV, Bolger DT (2004) Avian assemblages along a gradient of urbanization in a highly fragmented landscape. Biol Conserv 115:451–462

  16. Dale S (2018) Urban bird community composition influenced by size of urban green spaces, presence of native forest, and urbanization. Urban Ecosyst 21:1–14

  17. Daniels GD, Kirkpatrick JB (2006) Does variation in garden characteristics influence the conservation of birds in suburbia? Biol Conserv 133:326–335

  18. Day TD (1995) Bird species composition and abundance in relation to native plants in urban gardens, Hamilton, New Zealand. Notornis 42:172–186

  19. DeGraaf RM, Wentworth JM (1986) Avian guild structure and habitat associations in suburban bird communities. Urban Ecol 9:399–412

  20. Devictor V, Julliard R, Couvet D, Lee A, Jiguet F (2007) Functional homogenization effect of urbanization on bird communities. Conserv Biol 21:741–751

  21. Dolédec S, Chessel D, Ter Braak CJF, Champely S (1996) Matching species traits to environmental variables: a new three-table ordination method. Environ Ecol Stat 3:143–166

  22. Dray S, Dufour A-B (2007) The ade4 package: implementing the duality diagram for ecologists. J Stat Softw 22:1–20

  23. Dray S, Legendre P (2008) Testing the species traits–environment relationships: the fourth-corner problem revisited. Ecology 89:3400–3412

  24. Dray S, Chessel D, Thioulouse J (2003) Co-inertia analysis and the linking of ecological data tables. Ecology 84:3078–3089

  25. Dray S, Choler P, Dolédec S, Peres-Neto PR, Thuiller W, Pavoine S, ter Braak CJ (2014) Combining the fourth-corner and the RLQ methods for assessing trait responses to environmental variation. Ecology 95:14–21

  26. Ehrlich P, Dobkin D, Wheye D (1988) The Birder’s handbook. Simon and Schuster, New York

  27. Enoksson B, Angelstam P, Larsson K (1995) Deciduous forest and resident birds – the problem of fragmentation within a coniferous forest landscape. Landsc Ecol 10:267–275

  28. Evans KL, Newson SE, Gaston KJ (2009) Habitat influences on urban avian assemblages. Ibis 151:19–39

  29. Evans BS, Reitsma R, Hurlbert AH, Marra PP (2018) Environmental filtering of avian communities along a rural-to-urban gradient in greater Washington, DC, USA. Ecosphere 9:e02402

  30. Fox J, Weisberg S (2011) An R companion to applied regression. Second. Sage, Thousand Oaks

  31. Fujita M, Koike F (2009) Landscape effects on ecosystems: birds as active vectors of nutrient transport to fragmented urban forests versus forest-dominated landscapes. Ecosystems 12:391–400

  32. Goddard MA, Dougill AJ, Benton TG (2010) Scaling up from gardens: biodiversity conservation in urban environments. Trends Ecol Evol 25:90–98

  33. Gómez-Baggethun E, Barton DN (2013) Classifying and valuing ecosystem services for urban planning. Ecol Econ 86:235–245

  34. Griffith GE, Omernik JM, Smith DW, Cook TD, Tallyn E, Moseley K, Johnson CB (2016) Ecoregions of California. No. 2016-1021. US Geological Survey

  35. Han Y, Bai J, Zhang Z, Wu T, Chen P, Sun G, Miao L, Xu Z, Yu L, Zhu C, Zhao D, Ge G, Ruan L (2019) Nest site selection for five common birds and their coexistence in an urban habitat. Sci Total Environ 690:748–759

  36. Haq SMA (2011) Urban green spaces and an integrative approach to sustainable environment. J Environ Prot 2:601–608

  37. Homer C, Dewitz J, Yang L et al (2015) Completion of the 2011 National Land Cover Database for the conterminous United States- representing a decade of land cover change information. Photogramm Eng Rem S 81:345–354

  38. Ikin K, Knight E, Lindenmayer DB, Fischer J, Manning AD (2012) Linking bird species traits to vegetation characteristics in a future urban development zone: implications for urban planning. Urban Ecosyst 15:961–977

  39. Jackson HB, Fahrig L (2015) Are ecologists conducting research at the optimal scale? Glob Ecol Biogeogr 24:52–63

  40. Jaganmohan M, Vailshery L, Nagendra H (2013) Patterns of insect abundance and distribution in urban domestic gardens in Bangalore, India. Diversity 5:767–778

  41. Jokimäki J (1999) Occurrence of breeding bird species in urban parks: effects of park structure and broad-scale variables. Urban Ecosyst 3:21–34

  42. Jokimäki J, Huhta E (2000) Artificial nest predation and abundance of birds along an urban gradient. Condor 102:838–847

  43. Kark S, Iwaniuk A, Schalimtzek A, Banker E (2007) Living in the city: can anyone become an ‘urban exploiter’? J Biogeogr 34:638–651

  44. Kellert SR (1985) Birdwatching in American society. Leisure Sci 7:343–360

  45. Legendre P, Gallagher ED (2001) Ecologically meaningful transformations for ordination of species data. Oecologia 129:271–280

  46. MacGregor-Fors I, Schondube JE (2011) Gray vs. green urbanization: relative importance of urban features for urban bird communities. Basic Appl Ecol 12:372–381

  47. Marzluff JM (2001) Worldwide urbanization and its effects on birds. In: Avian ecology and conservation in an urbanizing world. Springer, pp 19–47

  48. McGarigal K, Cushman S, Neel M, Ene E (2002) FRAGSTATS v3: spatial pattern analysis program for categorical maps. Computer software program produced by the authors at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Available at the following web site: http://www.umass.edu/landeco/research/fragstats/fragstats.html

  49. Mooney K, Gruner D, Barber N, Van Bael S, Philpott S, Greenberg R (2010) Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107:7335–7340

  50. Mörtberg UM (2001) Resident bird species in urban forest remnants; landscape and habitat perspectives. Landsc Ecol 16:193–203

  51. Narango DL, Tallamy DW, Marra PP (2017) Native plants improve breeding and foraging habitat for an insectivorous bird. Biol Conserv 213:42–50

  52. Nielsen AB, Van Den Bosch M, Maruthaveeran S, Van Den Bosch CK (2014) Species richness in urban parks and its drivers: a review of empirical evidence. Urban Ecosyst 17:305–327

  53. Oksanen J et al (2018) Vegan: community ecology package. R package version 2.3–4 (http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=vegan), Accessed 8 July 2018

  54. Oliveira Hagen E, Hagen O, Ibáñez-Álamo JD, Petchey OL, Evans KL (2017) Impacts of urban areas and their characteristics on avian functional diversity. Front Ecol Evol 5:84

  55. Ortega-Álvarez R, MacGregor-Fors I (2009) Living in the big city: effects of urban land-use on bird community structure, diversity, and composition. Landscape Urban Plan 90:189–195

  56. Owens IPF, Bennett PM (2000) Ecological basis of extinction risk in birds: habitat loss versus human persecution and introduced predators. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97:12144–12148

  57. Paker Y, Yom-Tov Y, Alon-Mozes T, Barnea A (2014) The effect of plant richness and urban garden structure on bird species richness, diversity and community structure. Landscape Urban Plan 122:186–195

  58. Philpott SM, Bichier P (2017) Local and landscape drivers of predation services in urban gardens. Ecol Appl 27:966–976

  59. Philpott SM, Arendt WJ, Armbrecht I, Bichier P, Diestch TV, Gordon C, Greenberg R, Perfecto I, Reynoso-Santos R, Soto-Pinto L, Tejeda-Cruz C, Williams-Linera G, Valenzuela J, Zolotoff JM (2008) Biodiversity loss in Latin American coffee landscapes: review of the evidence on ants, birds, and trees. Conserv Biol 22:1093–1105

  60. Philpott SM, Soong O, Lowenstein JH, Pulido AL, Lopez DT, Flynn DFB, DeClerck F (2009) Functional richness and ecosystem services: bird predation on arthropods in tropical agroecosystems. Ecol Appl 19:1858–1867

  61. R Development Core Team (2018) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3–900051–07-0, URL: http://www.R-project.org/

  62. Reale JA, Blair RB (2005) Nesting success and life-history attributes of bird communities along an urbanization gradient. Urban Habitats 3:1–24

  63. Reis E, López-Iborra GM, Pinheiro RT (2012) Changes in bird species richness through different levels of urbanization: implications for biodiversity conservation and garden design in Central Brazil. Landscape Urban Plan 107:31–42

  64. Reynolds SJ, Galbraith JA, Smith JA, Jones DN (2017) Garden bird feeding: insights and prospects from a north-south comparison of this global urban phenomenon. Front Ecol Evol 5:Article 24

  65. Rodewald AD, Shustack DP (2008) Urban flight: understanding individual and population-level responses of Nearctic–Neotropical migratory birds to urbanization. J Anim Ecol 77:83–91

  66. Rudd H, Vala J, Schaefer V (2002) Importance of backyard habitat in a comprehensive biodiversity conservation strategy: a connectivity analysis of urban green spaces. Restor Ecol 10:368–375

  67. Sandström UG, Angelstam P, Mikusiński G (2006) Ecological diversity of birds in relation to the structure of urban green space. Landscape Urban Plan 77:39–53

  68. Savard JPL, Clergeau P, Mennechez G (2000) Biodiversity concepts and urban ecosystems. Landscape Urban Plan 48:131–142

  69. Schütz C, Schulze C (2015) Functional diversity of urban bird communities: effects of landscape composition, green space area and vegetation cover. Ecol Evol 5:5230–5239

  70. Sekerçioglu CH (2006) Increasing awareness of avian ecological function. Trends Ecol Evol 21:464–471

  71. Sibley D (2014) The Sibley guide to birds. Alfred A Knopf, New York

  72. Silva CP, Garcia CE, Estay SA, Barbosa O (2015) Bird richness and abundance in response to urban form in a Latin American city: Valdivia, Chile as a case study. PLoS One 10:e0138120

  73. Stralberg D, Jongsomjit D, Howell C, Snyder M, Alexander J, Wiens J, Root T (2009) Re-shuffling of species with climate disruption: a no-analog future for California birds? PLoS One 4:e6825

  74. Strohbach MW, Lerman SB, Warren PS (2013) Are small greening areas enhancing bird diversity? Insights from community-driven greening projects in Boston. Landscape Urban Plan 114:69–79

  75. Symes CT, Roller K, Howes C, Lockwood G, van Rensburg BJ (2017) Grassland to urban forest in 150 years: avifaunal response in an African metropolis. In: Murgui E, Hedblom M (eds) Ecology and conservation of birds in urban environments. Springer, Cham, pp 309–341

  76. Threlfall C, Williams N, Hahs A, Livesley S (2016) Approaches to urban vegetation management and the impacts on urban bird and bat assemblages. Landscape Urban Plan 153:28–39

  77. Van Bael SA, Philpott S, Greenberg R, Bichier P, Barber N, Mooney K, Gruner D (2008) Birds as predators in tropical agroforestry systems. Ecology 89:928–934

  78. Whelan CJ, Wenny DG, Marquis RJ (2008) Ecosystem services provided by birds. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1134:25–60

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank H. Cohen, M. Egerer, M. Otoshi, and R. Quistberg for assistance with vegetation and landscape data collection. A. Lucatero, M. Egerer, and anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on the manuscript. We thank all community gardens for allowing us to conduct research: Aptos Community Garden, Beach Flats Community Garden, Berryessa Community Garden, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Chinatown Community Garden, Coyote Creek Community Garden, El Jardín at Emma Prusch Park, The Forge at Santa Clara University, Giving Garden at Faith Lutheran Church, Homeless Garden Project, La Colina Community Garden, Laguna Seca Community Garden, The Live Oak Grange, Mearth at Carmel Valley Middle School, Mi Jardín Verde at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Our Green Thumb Garden at Monterey Institute for International Studies, Salinas Community Garden at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Trescony Community Garden. Funding for this project was provided by the University of California, Santa Cruz New Faculty Research Grant to SMP, Ruth & Alfred Heller Chair in Agroecology, UC LEADS Program, UCSC Stem Diversity Programs, and USDA-NIFA grant #2016-67019-25185 to SMP, H Liere, B Lin, and S Jha.

Author information

Correspondence to Stacy M. Philpott.

Electronic supplementary material

ESM 1

(DOCX 111 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mayorga, I., Bichier, P. & Philpott, S.M. Local and landscape drivers of bird abundance, species richness, and trait composition in urban agroecosystems. Urban Ecosyst (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-020-00934-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Avian
  • Biodiversity
  • California
  • Community garden
  • Functional traits