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The vegetation requirements of Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) in non-urban edge and urbanised habitats

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Urbanisation has created an environment with a broad spectrum of habitats of differing quality for birds.

    Understanding habitat characteristics is necessary for effective conservation of species in urban environments.

    We investigated the vegetation requirements of a small, shrub-nesting, Australian bird, the Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus

    cyaneus), and the relative quality of urban habitats in the Illawarra region of New South Wales. Vegetation was assessed in

    three different habitats: suburban sites within Superb Fairy-wren territories (n = 20 sites), suburban sites where Fairy-wrens

    were absent (n = 20), and rural–woodland edge in which Fairy-wrens were present (n = 17). This third habitat represents a

    habitat assumed to be the best possible habitat for this species within the landscape. We analysed structure and floristics of

    the vegetation. The three habitats were significantly different from each other both in vegetation structure and floristic

    composition. While there was some variability in habitat selection in suburban areas, Superb Fairy-wrens were largely

    restricted to areas that have a dense layer of native shrubs surrounding grassy areas. They were absent from suburban sites

    where there were either few shrubs in total or sites with exotic shrubs, regardless of abundance. It was predicted that

    non-suburban habitats (habitat located on the rural–remnant edge) would be of a higher quality than suburban habitats (habitat

    within residential housing) owing to a prevalence of native vegetation. However, these sites were dominated by a single

    exotic species, Lantana (Lantana camara). Despite this plant replacing native vegetation, it was an important habitat feature.

    Either this plant or native shrubs must be available for this species to colonise a site.

UOW Authors


  •   Parsons, H (external author)
  •   French, Kris O.
  •   Major, Richard E. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Parsons, H., French, K. O. & Major, R. E. (2008). The vegetation requirements of Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) in non-urban edge and urbanised habitats. Emu, 108 283-291.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-57649192802

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1737&context=scipapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/698

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 283

End Page


  • 291

Volume


  • 108

Abstract


  • Urbanisation has created an environment with a broad spectrum of habitats of differing quality for birds.

    Understanding habitat characteristics is necessary for effective conservation of species in urban environments.

    We investigated the vegetation requirements of a small, shrub-nesting, Australian bird, the Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus

    cyaneus), and the relative quality of urban habitats in the Illawarra region of New South Wales. Vegetation was assessed in

    three different habitats: suburban sites within Superb Fairy-wren territories (n = 20 sites), suburban sites where Fairy-wrens

    were absent (n = 20), and rural–woodland edge in which Fairy-wrens were present (n = 17). This third habitat represents a

    habitat assumed to be the best possible habitat for this species within the landscape. We analysed structure and floristics of

    the vegetation. The three habitats were significantly different from each other both in vegetation structure and floristic

    composition. While there was some variability in habitat selection in suburban areas, Superb Fairy-wrens were largely

    restricted to areas that have a dense layer of native shrubs surrounding grassy areas. They were absent from suburban sites

    where there were either few shrubs in total or sites with exotic shrubs, regardless of abundance. It was predicted that

    non-suburban habitats (habitat located on the rural–remnant edge) would be of a higher quality than suburban habitats (habitat

    within residential housing) owing to a prevalence of native vegetation. However, these sites were dominated by a single

    exotic species, Lantana (Lantana camara). Despite this plant replacing native vegetation, it was an important habitat feature.

    Either this plant or native shrubs must be available for this species to colonise a site.

UOW Authors


  •   Parsons, H (external author)
  •   French, Kris O.
  •   Major, Richard E. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Parsons, H., French, K. O. & Major, R. E. (2008). The vegetation requirements of Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) in non-urban edge and urbanised habitats. Emu, 108 283-291.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-57649192802

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1737&context=scipapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/698

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 283

End Page


  • 291

Volume


  • 108