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Urbanization and Human Population Favor Species Richness of Alien Birds

Department of Ecology, Aristotle University, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
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Diversity 2020, 12(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020072
Received: 30 December 2019 / Revised: 22 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
Human activities like urbanization and agriculture affect spatial biodiversity patterns. The presence and activities of humans richly benefit alien species, but native species usually decline in human-impacted areas. Considering that the richness of alien and native species are inter-related, we explored the effect of human population density, human-related land uses (agricultural and urban), and natural land area on avian (alien and native) species richness of Massachusetts for two time periods using Generalized Additive Models. Avian alien species richness increased with native species richness in both time periods. Despite the predominant role of native species richness as a major driver of alien species richness, human activities play an important additional role in shaping species richness patterns of established aliens. Human-related land uses (urban and agricultural) and human population favored alien species richness in both time periods. Counter to expectations, human activities were also positively associated to native avian species richness. Possible explanations of these patterns may include habitat heterogeneity, increased availability of resources, and reduced predation risk.
Keywords: alien species richness; native species richness; breeding birds; human land uses; agricultural area; urban area; Massachusetts alien species richness; native species richness; breeding birds; human land uses; agricultural area; urban area; Massachusetts
MDPI and ACS Style

Lazarina, M.; Tsianou, M.A.; Boutsis, G.; Andrikou – Charitidou, A.; Karadimou, E.; Kallimanis, A.S. Urbanization and Human Population Favor Species Richness of Alien Birds. Diversity 2020, 12, 72.

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