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Birds on Reserves: The Influence of Area and Habitat on Species Richness

R. W. Rafe, M. B. Usher and R. G. Jefferson
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 22, No. 2 (Aug., 1985), pp. 327-335
DOI: 10.2307/2403167
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2403167
Page Count: 9
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Birds on Reserves: The Influence of Area and Habitat on Species Richness
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Abstract

(1) The number of bird species breeding or wintering on reserves managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is influenced by the major habitat types represented within each reserve. (2) Both area and habitat diversity influence species richness. The number of species is better correlated with a measure of habitat diversity than with reserve area, but these two factors are themselves strongly correlated. (3) The effects of habitat type, area and habitat diversity can be incorporated into a single model for species richness. The number of breeding species on a reserve is related to the areas of woodland, freshwater wetland and agricultural land. Similarly the number of wintering species is correlated with the areas of coastal land, freshwater wetland and agricultural land. (4) Species richness is frequently considered as an important site attribute in evaluation for wildlife conservation. Species richness of birds on reserves is enhanced by diversity of habitat. (5) In an agricultural environment, the presence of both woodland and wetland is important for increasing the number of both breeding and wintering species.

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