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A comparison of forest bird communities on the New South Wales south and mid-north coasts

Milledge, D.R. and Recher, H.F. (1986) A comparison of forest bird communities on the New South Wales south and mid-north coasts. In: Keast, A., Recher, H.F., Ford, H. and Saunders, D.A., (eds.) Birds of eucalypt forests and woodlands: ecology, conservation, management. Surrey Beatty & Sons in association with the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, Chipping Norton, N.S.W., Australia, pp. 47-52.

Abstract

Birds were counted in eucalypt forests near Eden on the south coast and at Kendall on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. At Kendall, a higher rainfall, richer soils and a warmer, more equitable climate has resulted in generally taller forests with more complex shrub and understorey layers than at Eden.

Bird communities at Kendall were richer than at Eden. About half of the species were common to both localities, but Kendall sites were distinguished by species with tropical affinities and Eden sites by species of temperate origin. Some closely related and ecologically similar species pairs had one member replaced by the other between localities. Other pairs had both members present at Kendall and only one at Eden. This is seen as a response to the greater structural and floristic diversity of the forests at Kendall.

Neither species richness nor abundance was correlated with differences in the structural diversity of forest types. In both localities, some sites with low structural diversity had particularly rich avifaunas. An abundance of nectar-feeders in low, dry open forest and fruit-eaters in tall, wet open forest at Kendall accounted for most of the differences in avifaunal richness. This suggests that floristic diversity is an important factor affecting bird species diversity in eucalypt forests.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Surrey Beatty & Sons in association with the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/28196
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