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Land 2016, 5(3), 26; doi:10.3390/land5030026

Enhancement of Linear Agricultural Areas to Provide Invertebrates as Potential Food for Breeding Birds

1
Institute of Environmental Sciences, van Steenisgebouw, Einsteinweg 2, Leiden University, Leiden 2333 CC, The Netherlands
2
Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center, 1011 E. Ash Street, Springfield, IL 62703, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: H. Ricardo Grau
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
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Abstract

Birds are an important part of the agricultural landscape, as having nature value, but also as pest control agents and bio-indicators for the health of the environment. Here we look at linear non-crop elements in agricultural areas as a potential source of food for nestlings of avian species. We measured invertebrate availability as it relates to structural complexity at the local and landscape levels in three counties in central Illinois. Invertebrates were measured with taxonomic diversity, abundance, and estimated biomass during spring of 2012 and 2013. Our study shows that easily modifiable field edge characteristics have the greatest impact on invertebrate diversity and abundance, as compared to field and landscape features. This finding shows that a potential invertebrate food source as measured by both diversity and biomass, may be easily enhanced without changes to agricultural practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural landscape; biodiversity; bird food; invertebrate abundance; invertebrate diversity; landscape complexity agricultural landscape; biodiversity; bird food; invertebrate abundance; invertebrate diversity; landscape complexity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Evans, T.R.; Mahoney, M.J.; Cashatt, E.D.; de Snoo, G.; Musters, C. Enhancement of Linear Agricultural Areas to Provide Invertebrates as Potential Food for Breeding Birds. Land 2016, 5, 26.

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