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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59332. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059332. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Housing shortages in urban regions: aggressive interactions at tree hollows in forest remnants.

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1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. adrian.davis@sydney.edu.au

Abstract

Urbanisation typically results in a reduction of hollow-bearing trees and an increase in the density of particularly species, potentially resulting in an increased level of competition as cavity-nesting species compete for a limited resource. To improve understanding of hollow usage between urban cavity-nesting species in Australia, particularly parrots, we investigated how the hollow-using assemblage, visitation rate, diversity and number of interactions varied between hollows within urban remnant forest and continuous forest. Motion-activated video cameras were installed, via roped access to the canopy, and hollow usage was monitored at 61 hollows over a two-year period. Tree hollows within urban remnants had a significantly different assemblage of visitors to those in continuous forest as well as a higher rate of visitation than hollows within continuous forest, with the rainbow lorikeet making significantly more visitations than any other taxa. Hollows within urban remnants were characterised by significantly higher usage rates and significantly more aggressive interactions than hollows within continuous forest, with parrots responsible for almost all interactions. Within urban remnants, high rates of hollow visitation and both interspecific and intraspecific interactions observed at tree hollows suggest the number of available optimal hollows may be limiting. Understanding the usage of urban remnant hollows by wildlife, as well as the role of parrots as a potential flagship for the conservation of tree-hollows, is vital to prevent a decrease in the diversity of urban fauna, particularly as other less competitive species risk being outcompeted by abundant native species.

PMID:
23555657
PMCID:
PMC3605434
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0059332
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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