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Data from: Urban green roofs provide habitat for migrating and breeding birds and their arthropod prey

Citation

Partridge, Dustin R.; Clark, J. Alan (2019), Data from: Urban green roofs provide habitat for migrating and breeding birds and their arthropod prey, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.41s0q7t

Abstract

The world is rapidly urbanizing, and many previously biodiverse areas are now mostly comprised of impervious surface. This loss of natural habitat causes local bird communities to become dominated by urban dweller and urban utilizer species and reduces the amount of habitat available for migrating and breeding birds. Green roofs can increase green space in urban landscapes, potentially providing new habitat for wildlife. We surveyed birds and arthropods, an important food source for birds, on green roofs and nearby comparable conventional (non-green) roofs in New York City during spring migration and summer breeding seasons. We predicted that green roofs would have a greater abundance and richness of both birds and arthropods than conventional roofs during both migration and the breeding season for birds. Furthermore, we predicted we would find more urban avoider and urban utilizer bird species on green roofs than conventional roofs. We found that both birds and arthropods were more abundant and rich on green roofs than conventional roofs. In addition, green roofs hosted more urban avoider and utilizer bird species than conventional roofs. Our study shows that birds use green roofs as stopover habitat during migration and as foraging habitat during the breeding season. Establishing green roofs in urban landscapes increases the amount of habitat available for migrating and breeding birds and can partially mitigate the loss of habitat due to increasing urbanization.

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