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How Urbanisation Significantly Influences Bird Communities in Significant Ways

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INTRODUCTION
The most drastic influences of human modifications result from urbanisation, a progression characterised by human disturbance, buildings and other artificial infrastructure (Hahs and McDonnell 2006). Such modifications have significant effects on biodiversity, often with little thought being given to the long term effects and ways of mitigating them.

In most cases, human alteration of the environment has reduced biological diversity by replacing the native flora with new ecological spaces. However, urbanization, especially in suburbia, can introduce many new resources (McDonnell and Pickett 1990; Pickett et al. 2001) which coexist with the natural biota and increases diversity of avifauna in semi-urban environments. It is hypothesised that “intermediate areas should have greater spatial heterogeneity of environments than other urban areas” (Marzluff 2005) which have the capacity to provide resources to a greater diversity of bird life.

A concern under much observation in the ecological community is the impacts of urbanisation on native birds. It is known that native species are declining in cities which are dominated by those that possess the specific traits to adjust with its intensely modified landscape (McKinney 2006) – predominantly the exotic species. This poses the need for conservation plans to be enforced in order to maintain native bird species within the urban environment.

This report characterises and evaluates the structural elements of specific locations around the city of Melbourne in order to observe the impacts of urbanisation on avifaunal communities. Specifically, how these influences impact native and non-native birds in urban areas and how we must stress the need for mitigation against ...


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...127–57.
- Watson, D. M. 2003, ‘The ‘standardised search’: An improved way to conduct bird surveys’, Austral Ecology, vol. 28, pp. 515-525.
- White, J. G., Antos, M J., Fitzsimmons, J. A., & Palmer, G. C. 2005, ‘Non-uniform bird assemblages in urban environments: the influence of streetscape vegetation’, Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 71, pp. 123- 135.
- Whitney, G. G., Adams, S. D. 1980, ’Man as maker of new plant communities’, Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 17, pp. 341 – 448.

- USDA Forest Service. 2006, i-Tree Canopy Program (Version 6.0) [Computer Software]. Retrieved from http://www.itreetools.org/canopy/
- Daft Logic. 2014, Daft Logic Software [Computer Software]. Retrieved from http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-area-calculator-tool.htm
- MyGeodata Converter. 2014, [Computer Software]. Retrieved from http://converter.mygeodata.eu/



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