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Phoenix is losing birds, but desert plants provided by homeowners offer habitat for desert species

Phys.org/news (MARCH 12, 2019)

Titre : Phoenix is losing birds, but desert plants provided by homeowners offer habitat for desert species

A persistent question among urban ecology researchers has been the long-term impact of urbanization on bird species biodiversity. Specifically, they wonder whether the portions of cities with higher diversity are simply exhibiting an "extinction debt—populations doomed to extinction but not yet disappeared—or if other factors such as range shifts or local environmental changes play a role in changes in diversity.

Phys.org/news (MARCH 12, 2019)

Présentation
The study looked at bird communities over time in relation to habitat, societal factors, human responses and bird populations. Findings suggest that although the presence of bird species, bird abundance and the number of bird species all decreased over time, in areas where homeowners provided desert landscaping—fine gravel and drought-tolerant, desert-adapted vegetation—some desert specialist birds such as verdin and cactus wren could still be found.

The researchers also report observing socio-economic factors associated with species diversity. For example, the desert-like landscaping types and desert specialist bird species occurred more frequently in neighborhoods with higher per-capita incomes and lower percentages of renters and Hispanic/Latinx residents. Warren notes that including socioeconomic factors has become more common recently, but it’s still unusual. Their earlier work "was truly ground-breaking with respect to including socioeconomic factors," she says.

Source  : Janet Lathrop, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

Page publiée le 24 juin 2021