How does forest fragmentation affect birds?

ALERT member Dr Cagan Sekercioglu has just sent us an extremely interesting global meta-analysis of bird responses to habitat fragmentation.  It's a massive study, incorporating data on nearly 3000 bird species from almost 300 sites on five continents.

The paper is coauthored by Cagan as well as Tom Bregman and Joe Tobias, and was just published in Biological Conservation.  You can download it here.

 Fragmentation is bad for tropical birds (photo by Susan Laurance).

Fragmentation is bad for tropical birds (photo by Susan Laurance).

Among the study's key findings:

- Fragmentation affects bird communities in tropical forests much more strongly than those in other ecosystems

- Among different types of birds, insect-eating species and large-bodied birds that eat fruit are most vulnerable

- The decline of birds in fragmented habitats can impact a number of important ecosystem functions, especially in the tropics

-Bill Laurance