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Do state-and-transition models derived from vegetation succession also represent avian succession in restored mine pits?

Craig, M.D., Stokes, V.L., Fontaine, J.B., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Grigg, A.H. and Hobbs, R.J. (2015) Do state-and-transition models derived from vegetation succession also represent avian succession in restored mine pits? Ecological Applications, 25 (7). pp. 1790-1806.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/14-1519.1
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Abstract

State-and-transition models are increasingly used as a tool to inform management of post-disturbance succession and effective conservation of biodiversity in production landscapes. However, if they are to do this effectively, they need to represent faunal, as well as vegetation, succession. We assessed the congruence between vegetation and avian succession by sampling avian communities in each state of a state-and-transition model used to inform management of post-mining restoration in a production landscape in southwestern Australia. While avian communities differed significantly among states classified as on a desirable successional pathway, they did not differ between desirable and deviated states of the same post-mining age. Overall, we concluded there was poor congruence between vegetation and avian succession in this state-and-transition model. We identified four factors that likely contributed to this lack of congruence, which were that long-term monitoring of succession in restored mine pits was not used to update and improve models, states were not defined based on ecological processes and thresholds, states were not defined by criteria that were important in structuring the avian community, and states were not based on criteria that related to values in the reference community. We believe that consideration of these four factors in the development of state-and-transition models should improve their ability to accurately represent faunal, as well as vegetation, succession. Developing state-and-transition models that better incorporate patterns of faunal succession should improve the ability to manage post-disturbance succession across a range of ecosystems for biodiversity conservation.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Ecological Society of America
Copyright: © 2015 by the Ecological Society of America
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/28817
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