Habitat associations and breeding bird community composition within the city of Bristol, UK
Baker, P. J., Thomas, R. L., Newson, S. E., Thompson, V. and Paling, N. R. D. (2010) Habitat associations and breeding bird community composition within the city of Bristol, UK. Bird Study, 57 (2). pp. 183-196. ISSN 0006-3657
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/00063650903490270
Capsule: Different urban breeding bird communities are associated with different habitat types, but, although community species diversity varies significantly, total bird density does not. Aims: To investigate the association between breeding bird communities and habitats within Bristol, UK and how these communities vary in terms of species diversity and total bird abundance. Methods: Breeding density data for 70 species in the metropolitan area of Bristol, UK were subjected to de-trended correspondence analysis to identify the number of different communities present and their indicator species. These data were then used to identify patterns of habitat association with each community and differences in species richness and total bird density. Results: Three communities were identified: a rural community associated with woodland, managed grassland and inland water; a suburban community associated with buildings and residential gardens; and an intermediate community that shared some of these habitat characteristics. Species richness, but not total bird abundance, was lowest in the suburban community. Conclusion: The diversity of species in urban areas appears to be most dependent upon the availability of patches of natural and semi-natural habitats. Residential gardens support fewer species, but those species that are present may be found at high densities.