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Tamarisk biocontrol alters bird community composition in the absence of cottonwood and willow vegetation

Resource Category: 
Wildlife
Ecosystem Stressors
Goal Setting & Prioritization
Other Considerations
Biocontrol
Threatened & Endangered Species
Improving Flycatcher Habitat
Current Research
Southwestern Willow Flycatcher
Habitat-Vegetation
Parasitism and Predators
Effects of the Beetle
 
LAY SUMMARY
• Invasive species disturb ecosystems and threaten biodiversity. Invasive species management, such as biological control, can cause additional disturbances, so quantifying how native species respond to invasive control is important
to inform best management practices
• We quantifed southwestern bird communities in sites that varied in the amount of the non-native plant tamarisk (Tamarix spp.), before and after biological control efforts
• Following biocontrol, we found significant differences in community composition and diversity, and several bird species declined by ≥30%
• Bird declines were ameliorated in the presence of native vegetation, consistent with the hypothesis that tamarisk biocontrol decreases prey availability and alters microclimate
• We recommend land managers monitor areas dominated by tamarisk after biocontrol, and if re-establishment of native vegetation is slow or lacking, consider the feasibility of active restoration

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