Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Riparian forest restoration provides habitat for woodland birds along the Sacramento River, California, USA

Published source details

Gardali T., Holmes A.L., Small S.L., Nur N., Geupel G.R. & Golet G.H. (2006) Abundance patterns of landbirds in restored and remnant riparian forests on the Sacramento River, California, USA. Restoration Ecology, 14, 391-403


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use environmentally sensitive flood management Bird Conservation

A replicated site comparison trial in 1993-2003 on ten sites along the Sacramento River, California, USA (Gardali et al. 2006), found that 13 of 20 bird species were increasing on plots where both riparian vegetation and the river’s hydrological dynamics were restored. This study is discussed in detail in ‘Habitat restoration and creation’.

 

Other biodiversity: Restore habitat along watercourses Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated site comparison in 1993–2003 on ten sites along the Sacramento River, California, USA, found that 13 of 20 bird species were increasing on plots revegetated as part of riparian reforestation, although abundances did not reach that of plots of remnant forest. Birds: Thirteen of 20 bird species were increasing on plots revegetated as part of riparian reforestation, although abundances did not reach that of plots of remnant forest. Nine of these were also increasing on the remnant plots, with a further three only increasing in remnants. Three species were stable on both plot types and one, lazuli bunting Passerina amoena, declined on both (mirroring a regional trend). Methods: Restoration focused on revegetating with native trees, shrubs and understory plants, and restoring natural river processes.

 

Restore or create forests Bird Conservation

A replicated site comparison trial in 1993-2003 on ten sites along the Sacramento River, California, USA (Gardali et al. 2006), found that 13 of 20 bird species were increasing on plots revegetated as part of riparian reforestation, although abundances did not reach that of plots of remnant forest. Nine of these were also increasing on the remnant plots, with a further three only increasing in remnants. Three species were stable on both plot types and one, lazuli bunting Passerina amoena, declined on both (mirroring a regional trend). Restoration focused on revegetating with native trees, shrubs and understory plants, and restoring natural river processes.

 

Other biodiversity: Restore habitat along watercourses Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated site comparison in 1998–2003 in 17 riparian sites along the Sacramento River in California, USA, found that the abundance of some bird species increased with the cover of restored area in the landscape. Birds: Abundance increased with the cover of restored habitat in the landscape, for six of seven species. Implementation options: Species abundance increased (15–51%) with age. The abundance of Nuttall’s woodpecker, ash-throated flycatcher, and black-headed grosbeak increased with the number of tree species planted. For three species, abundance increased with the planting density of tree species (western wood-pewee: abundance increased by a factor of 1.9 for each additional 100 Salix willows planted/ha; Bewick’s wren and spotted towhee: abundance increased by a factor of about 1.04 for each additional 100 valley oak trees Quercus lobata/ha). However, Bewick’s wren abundance decreased by a factor of 0.84 for each additional 100 cottonwood Populus fremontii trees/ha. Methods: Restored sites (4–74 ha each; former farmland; adjacent to remnant riparian forest) were disked, burned, furrowed, levelled, and sprayed with herbicides, and trees and shrubs were planted. Birds were surveyed with point counts (45 points, 50 m radius, 200 m apart, during the breeding season, from dawn until 4 h after sunrise, twice/year for 3–10 years; 5 minutes/point).