The construction of roads is currently well spread in many parts of our world and impacts strongly on wildlife distribution. Some bird species avoid, while other prefer to be in the vicinity of these human structures. However, studies on roads effects on birds, in terms of strength or direction of these effects, are scarce. Therefore, in a study carried out in Central Italy we tested the responses of different bird species to roads at a local spatial scale, using generalized linear models (GLM). Analysis were conducted on a large dataset (more than 1400 sampled sites, mainly on rural environments). Both positive and negative effects of roads on birds were found for bird species of close or semi-close environments, while the negative effects of roads were negligible for bird species of open and semi-open environments. This fact suggest that roads can be a source of “functional heterogeneity” on semi-open environments, providing marginal habitats, hedgerows and residual vegetation typical of roadsides, offering breeding and feeding habitat for some bird species. The proposed methodology provide a useful explorative tool, in order to develop conservation policies to preserve the biodiversity, mainly in rural landscapes. The outputs of GLM can be used as inputs in ecological planning: direction and strength of the effects of roads on bird species are adequate to estimate the response of bird community, up front to the presence of new structures, or identifying which of them should be mitigated to reduce negative effects on the biodiversity.

Testing bird response to roads on a rural environment: A case study from Central Italy.

MORELLI, FEDERICO DANIEL;PRUSCINI, FABIO;SANTOLINI, RICCARDO;
2015-01-01

Abstract

The construction of roads is currently well spread in many parts of our world and impacts strongly on wildlife distribution. Some bird species avoid, while other prefer to be in the vicinity of these human structures. However, studies on roads effects on birds, in terms of strength or direction of these effects, are scarce. Therefore, in a study carried out in Central Italy we tested the responses of different bird species to roads at a local spatial scale, using generalized linear models (GLM). Analysis were conducted on a large dataset (more than 1400 sampled sites, mainly on rural environments). Both positive and negative effects of roads on birds were found for bird species of close or semi-close environments, while the negative effects of roads were negligible for bird species of open and semi-open environments. This fact suggest that roads can be a source of “functional heterogeneity” on semi-open environments, providing marginal habitats, hedgerows and residual vegetation typical of roadsides, offering breeding and feeding habitat for some bird species. The proposed methodology provide a useful explorative tool, in order to develop conservation policies to preserve the biodiversity, mainly in rural landscapes. The outputs of GLM can be used as inputs in ecological planning: direction and strength of the effects of roads on bird species are adequate to estimate the response of bird community, up front to the presence of new structures, or identifying which of them should be mitigated to reduce negative effects on the biodiversity.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2631396
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 14
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 12
social impact