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Seasonal benefits of farmland pond management for birds

Lewis-Phillips, Jonathan, Brooks, Stephen J., Sayer, Carl D., McCrea, Rachel, Siriwardena, Gavin, Robson, Hannah, Harrison, Anne L., Axmacher, Jan C. (2019) Seasonal benefits of farmland pond management for birds. Bird Study, 66 (3). pp. 342-352. ISSN 0006-3657. (doi:10.1080/00063657.2019.1688762​) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

Capsule: There is seasonal variation in the benefits that birds can take from restored farmland ponds. Aims: To evaluate season-specific benefits of farmland pond restoration for local bird communities. Methods: Bird communities were recorded at unmanaged overgrown and managed open-canopy farmland ponds over the breeding, post-breeding and winter seasons. Results were compared and related to seasonal variation in environmental conditions of within-pond and marginal habitats to identify predictors of local bird communities. Results: Bird communities at managed open-canopy ponds showed a higher abundance and species richness over all seasons and displayed pronounced seasonal shifts in composition. Warblers and other specialised bird species were frequently observed at open-canopy sites over the breeding and post-breeding seasons but were generally absent from overgrown ponds. While pond management and landscape connectivity had a consistent positive influence on bird communities over all seasons, the importance of other predictors such as bramble area varied seasonally. Conclusions: Our study highlights a key role of pond management for farmland bird conservation. In addition, the identified seasonal predictors of bird assemblages provide valuable lessons for the design of agri-environment prescriptions for farmland ponds, highlighting the importance of bramble-dominated patches and pond marginal habitat over the breeding season and of a strong connectivity between pond margins and surrounding semi-natural habitats throughout the year.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/00063657.2019.1688762​
Uncontrolled keywords: Aquatic habitat restoration; pond restoration; agricultural biodiversity conservation; agrienvironment schemes
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Mathematics Statistics and Actuarial Science > Statistics
Depositing User: Rachel McCrea
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2019 15:06 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2020 16:24 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/79263 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
McCrea, Rachel: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3813-5328
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