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This repository contains all of the data and code needed to replicate the following publication:

Dyson, K. 2020. Conserving native trees increases native bird diversity and community composition on commercial office developments Journal of Urban Ecology


In cities, woody vegetation provides critical shelter, nesting, and foraging habitat for bird species of interest. Human actions—including development and landscaping choices—determine vegetation community composition and structure, making these choices critically important to urban bird conservation. A better understanding of how bird communities are impacted by parcel-scale actions can help guide policy and management best practices to improve matrix habitat quality and quantity. Here, I examined how bird habitat use varies along a vegetation gradient created by different development and landscaping choices. I surveyed 20 commercial office developments near Seattle in the Puget Trough region of Washington, USA selected using stratified random sampling, where I quantified bird communities and observed feeding behavior. I used GLMM and PERMANOVA models with data likelihood metrics to identify the best supported variables for bird site use, along with TITAN models to identify changes in community composition along environmental gradients. I found that measures of bird effective species richness and bird community are positively influenced by the presence of more native conifers, including the presence of a stand predating development and the height and density of native conifers. Measures of the native bird community are negatively influenced by higher non-native tree density. In contrast to prior research, top-down landscape-scale variables did not explain variation in measures of the bird community on office developments. Importantly, I found that birds are associated with the same habitat on office developments as observed elsewhere. Together, my findings suggest an important role for developers, land owners, landscape architects, and tree protection policy in bird conservation.


Birds on office developments in bellevue and redmond







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