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Title: Species traits drive responses of forest birds to agriculturally‐modified habitats throughout the annual cycle

The conversion of forest to agriculture is considered one of the greatest threats to avian biodiversity, yet how species respond to habitat modification throughout the annual cycle remains unknown. We examined whether forest bird associations with agricultural habitats vary throughout the year, and if species traits influence these relationships. Using data from the eBird community‐science program, we investigated associations between agriculturally‐modified land cover and the occurrence of 238 forest bird species based on three sets of avian traits: migratory strategy, dietary guild, and foraging strategy. We found that the influence of agriculturally‐modified land cover on species distributions varied widely across periods and trait groups but highlighting several broad findings. First, migratory species showed strong seasonal differences in their response to agricultural land cover while resident species did not. Second, there was a migratory strategy by season interaction; Neotropical migrants were most negatively influenced by agricultural land cover during the breeding period while short‐distance migrants were most negatively influenced during the non‐breeding period. Third, regardless of season, some dietary (e.g. insectivores) and foraging guilds (e.g. bark foragers) consistently responded more negatively to agricultural land cover than others (e.g. omnivores and ground foragers, respectively). Fourth, there were greater differences among dietary guilds in their responses to agricultural land cover during the breeding period than during the non‐breeding period, perhaps reflecting how different habitat and ecological requirements enhance the susceptibility of some guilds during reproduction. These results suggest that management efforts across the annual cycle may be oversimplified and thus ineffective when based on broad ecological generalisations that are static in space and time.

 
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Award ID(s):
1939187
NSF-PAR ID:
10489432
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nordic Society Oikos
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Ecography
Volume:
2023
Issue:
9
ISSN:
0906-7590
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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