Impacts of roads on bird species richness: A meta-analysis considering road types, habitats and feeding guilds
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataVis full innførsel
OriginalversjonScience of the Total Environment. 2021, 812 . 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151478
Roadsides can harbour remarkable biodiversity; thus, they are increasingly considered as habitats with potential for conservation value. To improve construction and management of roadside habitats with positive effects on biodiversity, we require a quantitative understanding of important influential factors that drive both positive and negative effects of roads. We conducted meta-analyses to assess road effects on bird communities. We specifically tested how the relationship between roads and bird richness varies when considering road type, habitat characteristics and feeding guild association. Overall, bird richness was similar in road habitats compared to non-road habitats, however, the two apparently differ in species composition. Bird richness was lowered by road presence in areas with denser tree cover but did not differ according to road type. Richness differences between habitats with and without roads further depended on primary diet of species, and richness of omnivores was positively affected by road presence. We conclude that impacts of roads on bird richness are highly context-dependent, and planners should carefully evaluate road habitats on a case by case basis. This emphasizes the need for further studies that explicitly test for differences in species composition and abundance, to disentangle contexts where a road will negatively affect bird communities, and where it will not.