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  • Writer's pictureSara Kross

A bustle in the hedgerow


This project, led by Sacha Heath at UC Davis and in collaboration with Audubon California, the National Audubon Society, and The Nature Conservancy, combined data sets from multiple studies to compare avian diversity across 103 field margins in California's Central Valley. We found that margins with hedgerows, treelines or remnant riparian habitat harbored 2–3 times as many bird species, sig- nificantly greater species evenness, and 3–6 times higher maximum total abundances of birds than bare or weedy margins. The effect of margin type on richness was modulated by water year, whereas the effect of margin type on maximum total abundance was modulated by adjacent crop type. At the landscape scale, hedgerow and riparian margins that were further from woodland harbored greater species richness; a result that supports our recommendation for targeted development of hedgerows in simplified agricultural landscapes. Access the paper here. (

Heath and Soykan et al. 2017 Biological Conservation
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