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Avian population dynamics and human induced change in an urban environment

James, P, Norman, D and Clarke, JJ 2010, 'Avian population dynamics and human induced change in an urban environment' , Urban Ecosystems, 13 (4) , pp. 499-515.

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    Abstract

    The predominantly urban boroughs of Warrington and Halton straddle the river Mersey in northwest England. Since the 1970s there has been a major change in land-use associated with both innovative town design and the decline of manufacturing and chemical industries in the boroughs. Also, co-ordinated programmes have directly addressed air and water pollution. The breeding birds of the two boroughs were surveyed in 1978-84 and 2004-06 as part of the bird atlases of Cheshire and Wirral, based on tetrads (2x2 km squares). We divided the breeding species into eight guilds based on broad ecological characteristics of habitat or food, omitting the generalists and colonial species, and compared the change between our two atlases in the number of occupied tetrads in Halton and Warrington and in the rest of the county. Four of our eight guilds have fared significantly better within our study area: waterbirds (24 species), those feeding on invertebrates (16 species), woodland specialists (21 species) and the two species that decorate their nests with lichens. The remaining four guilds showed no difference between Halton and Warrington and the rest of Cheshire and Wirral: raptors (5 species) have increased throughout, while breeding waders (7 species), farmland seedeaters (7 species) and aerial insectivores (5 species) have declined throughout. We interpret these results in relation to improved quality of water and air and changing patterns of land-use in the urban greenspace, especially an increase in woodland cover and connectivity.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban birds Greenspace Environmental quality Urban design
    Themes: Subjects / Themes > G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
    Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QH Natural history > QH001 General, inc. conservation, geographical distribution
    Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QH Natural history
    Subjects outside of the University Themes
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology
    Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Environment and Life Sciences
    Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
    Journal or Publication Title: Urban Ecosystems
    Publisher: Springer
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 1083-8155
    Depositing User: Professor Philip James
    Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2010 14:42
    Last Modified: 18 Jul 2014 13:32
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/9471

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