A bust but no boom: Responses of floodplain bird assemblages during and after prolonged drought
KE Selwood, RH Clarke, SC Cunningham, H Lada, MA Mcgeoch, R Mac Nally
Journal of Animal Ecology | Wiley-Blackwell Publishing | Published : 2015
© 2015 British Ecological Society.Climate change alters the frequency and severity of extreme events, such as drought. Such events will be increasingly important in shaping communities as climate change intensifies. The ability of species to withstand extreme events (resistance) and to recover once adverse conditions abate (resilience) will determine their persistence. We estimated the resistance and resilience of bird species during and after a 13-year drought (the 'Big Dry') in floodplain forests in south-eastern Australia. We conducted bird surveys at the beginning and end of the Big Dry, and after the abrupt end to the drought (the 'Big Wet'), to evaluate species-specific changes in repo..View full abstract
Awarded by ARC
The project was supported partially by ARC Grant LP120200217, while R.M. was supported partially by ARC Grant DP120100797. The Holsworth Trust Wildlife Research Endowment and BirdLife Australia's Stuart Leslie Bird Research Award funded K.E.S. Gregory Horrocks, Lawrie Conole, and Chris Tzaros conducted the 1998 surveys. Michael Kaplan, Anna Lada, Peter Selwood and Justine Smith assisted with fieldwork. We thank J.K. Smith, Heidi C. Zimmer and the Clarke laboratory for their feedback on early drafts of the manuscript. We thank James R. Thomson and Jian D. L. Yen for their statistical advice. Carla Catterall, Richard Loyn, Teisha Stone, J.D.L. Yen and the Arthur Rylah Institute compiled and provided the species mass and diet information. We acknowledge excellent suggestions by the reviewers and the Associate Editor that led to major improvements in the MS. This study was carried out under Monash University School of Biological Sciences Animal Ethics Committee permits BSCI/2007/05 and BSCI/2011/05.