Effects of urbanization on the breeding bird species richness in Finland: a biogeographical comparison

J. Jokimaki, J. Suhonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The authors compiled literature data on bird assemblages at five different levels of urbanization (forest, countryside, village, small and large city centers) and along an urban gradient (park, residential area and city center in different towns) in the three ornithogeographical zones in Finland. Estimated number of breeding bird species decreased with urbanization. Highest species richness was found in the countryside (21.8 species in 50-pair sample), the lowest in the large city center (7.4 spp.). Data support the hypothesis that moderate disturbance will increase biotic diversity. The estimated number of breeding bird species was lower in the city centers (6.8 species in a 25-pair sample) than in the urban parks (12.1 spp.), pointing to the important role of trees and shrubs as shelter, and as nesting and feeding places. Species richness was similar at different latitudes, when the level of urbanization was the same. The great productivity (amount of food) and high predictability of resources (food available throughout the year) in urban habitats may explain why the species richness does not decrease northwards in the urban environments. -from Authors
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalOrnis Fennica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Field of science

  • Ecology, evolutionary biology

Citation for this output