Expansion and intensification of row crop agriculture in the Pampas and Espinal of Argentina can reduce ecosystem service provision by changing avian density

Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment (Impact Factor: 2.86). 07/2012; 154:44-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2011.08.013

ABSTRACT Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w . e l s e v i e r . c o m / l o c a t e / a g e e Expansion and intensification of row crop agriculture in the Pampas and Espinal of Argentina can reduce ecosystem service provision by changing avian density a b s t r a c t In Argentina, the rapid expansion and intensification of row crop production that has occurred during the last 20 years has resulted in the loss of habitat and spatial heterogeneity in agroecosystems. One of the principal effects of industrialized row crop production is the loss of avian diversity and associated ecosystem services that benefit crop production. To better understand the response of bird species to the intensification and expansion of row crop agriculture in Argentina, and the potential effects on the provision of ecosystems services, we analyzed the relationship between short-and long-term changes in agricultural land use on the densities of six bird species (Milvago chimango, Caracara plancus, Tyrannus savana, Zenaida auriculata, Molothrus bonariensis, and Sturnella supercilliaris) using data from a large-scale, long-term avian monitoring program in central Argentina. Species densities responded individually to long-term landuse changes; T. savana and M. chimango densities were positively related to an increase in the annual cropping area, whereas C. plancus and S. supercilliaris were positively related to the area of non-plowed fields. M. bonariensis and Z. auriculata (considered crop pests) showed a weak relationship with land use. None of the species exhibited response to short-term changes in land-use. Although generalist species can apparently adapt to a diversity of open habitats, species that provide pest control services were also related to semi-natural habitats and thus likely to suffer from land transformation associated with intensive agricultural management. Our results, as well as those found in similar systems, denote strong inferential evidence that the disappearance of remnants of natural and semi-natural habitats in heavily transformed agricultural landscapes will have a substantial negative effect on the provision of pest control services provided by avian abundance and diversity.

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    Bird Study 01/2012; · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t In agricultural landscapes, patches of natural or semi-natural habitat are crucial for the survival of plant and animal populations, which in turn are essential to maintain ecosystem functioning. Species com-position and diversity of trees and birds among woody habitat islands were compared in a Colombian rangeland to assess how habitat characteristics influence bird community composition, bird species traits and their potential ecosystem services. Bird and tree diversity was higher in gallery forest fragments com-pared to hedgerows and isolated tree islands within rangelands. Forest fragments shared over 50% of their bird and tree species with tree islands and hedgerows, yet communities differed markedly. Tree islands and hedgerows had relatively more endozoochorous and small-seeded tree species and hosted birds of forest, savanna and shrubland, while forest fragments had more synzoochorous and large-seeded tree species and primarily hosted forest birds. Hedges and tree islands contribute to the conservation of forest bird and tree biodiversity in rangeland, but gallery forests are essential for the conservation of less toler-ant forest species. The savanna rangeland acts as an ecological filter between the gallery forests and the hedges and tree islands, which in turn facilitate the spillover of tolerant forest birds and their ecological functions, including tree seed dispersal, into the rangeland, and thus support regional forest conservation and restoration.
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