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title: Do unpaved, low-traffic roads affect bird communities?
author: Mammides, Christos;  Kounnamas, Constantinos;  Goodale, Eben;  Kadis, Costas
Issued Date: 2016
Abstract: Unpaved, low traffic roads are often assumed to have minimal effects on biodiversity. To explore this assertion, we sampled the bird communities in fifteen randomly selected sites in Pafos Forest, Cyprus and used multiple regression to quantify the effects of such roads on the total species richness. Moreover, we classified birds according to their migratory status and their global population trends, and tested each category separately. Besides the total length of unpaved roads, we also tested: a. the site's habitat diversity, b. the coefficient of variation in habitat (patch) size, c. the distance to the nearest agricultural field, and d. the human population size of the nearest village. We measured our variables at six different distances from the bird point-count locations. We found a strong negative relationship between the total bird richness and the total length of unpaved roads. The human population size of the nearest village also had a negative effect. Habitat diversity was positively related to species richness. When the categories were tested, we found that the passage migrants were influenced more by the road network while resident breeders were influenced by habitat diversity. Species with increasing and stable populations were only marginally affected by the variables tested, but the effect of road networks on species with decreasing populations was large. We conclude that unpaved and sporadically used roads can have detrimental effects on the bird communities, especially on vulnerable species. We propose that actions are taken to limit the extent of road networks within protected areas, especially in sites designated for their rich avifauna, such as Pafos Forest, where several of the affected species are species of European and global importance
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Recommended Citation:
Mammides, Christos,Kounnamas, Constantinos,Goodale, Eben,et al. Do Unpaved, Low-traffic Roads Affect Bird Communities?[J]. Acta Oecologica-international Journal Of Ecology,2016,71(X):14-21.

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