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Environmental gradients explain species richness and community composition of coastal breeding birds in the Baltic Sea

Nord, Maria and Forslund, Pär (2015). Environmental gradients explain species richness and community composition of coastal breeding birds in the Baltic Sea. PloS one. 10:2, 1-16
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118455

Abstract

Scientifically-based systematic conservation planning for reserve design requires knowledge of species richness patterns and how these are related to environmental gradients. In this study, we explore a large inventory of coastal breeding birds, in total 48 species, sampled in 4646 1 km(2) squares which covered a large archipelago in the Baltic Sea on the east coast of Sweden. We analysed how species richness (alpha diversity) and community composition (beta diversity) of two groups of coastal breeding birds (specialists, i.e. obligate coastal breeders; generalists, i.e. facultative coastal breeders) were affected by distance to open sea, land area, shoreline length and archipelago width. The total number of species per square increased with increasing shoreline length, but increasing land area counteracted this effect in specialists. The number of specialist bird species per square increased with decreasing distance to open sea, while the opposite was true for the generalists. Differences in community composition between squares were associated with differences in land area and distance to open sea, both when considering all species pooled and each group separately. Fourteen species were nationally red-listed, and showed similar relationships to the environmental gradients as did all species, specialists and generalists. We suggest that availability of suitable breeding habitats, and probably also proximity to feeding areas, explain much of the observed spatial distributions of coastal birds in this study. Our findings have important implications for systematic conservation planning of coastal breeding birds. In particular, we provide information on where coastal breeding birds occur and which environments they seem to prefer. Small land areas with long shorelines are highly valuable both in general and for red-listed species. Thus, such areas should be prioritized for protection against human disturbance and used by management in reserve selection.

Authors/Creators:Nord, Maria and Forslund, Pär
Title:Environmental gradients explain species richness and community composition of coastal breeding birds in the Baltic Sea
Series/Journal:PloS one (1932-6203)
Year of publishing :2015
Depositing date:11 March 2016
Volume:10
Number:2
Page range:1-16
Number of Pages:16
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L20 Animal ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Zoology
Agrovoc terms:biodiversity, habitats
Keywords:Biodiversity, Habitat, Archipelago
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3314
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3314
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000350168700074
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0118455
ID Code:13162
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:11 Mar 2016 10:51
Metadata Last Modified:11 Mar 2016 10:52

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