Classifying animals into ecologically meaningful groups: A case study on woodland birds
Hannah Fraser, Cindy E Hauser, Libby Rumpff, Georgia E Garrard, Michael A McCarthy
BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION | ELSEVIER SCI LTD | Published : 2017
Ecologists often classify species into binary groupings such as woodland or non-woodland birds. However, each ecologist may apply a different classification, which might impede progress in ecology and conservation by precluding direct comparison between studies. This study describes and tests a method for deriving empirically-based, ecologically-relevant species groups, using Australian woodland birds as a case study. A Bayesian hierarchical model investigates how vegetation and species traits drive birds' preference for woodland vegetation, characterised by low density trees with an open canopy structure. Birds are then classified according to their affinity to areas with high tree cover an..View full abstract
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Awarded by ARC
This research is supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and the National Environmental Research Program Environmental Decisions hub. M.A.M. is supported by an ARC Future Fellowship. L.R. is supported by ARC LP110100321. G.E.G. is supported by the National Environmental Science Programme Threatened Species Recovery Hub.