March 2023

A painting of a dickcissel (Spiza americana) that sings from a hazelnut bush growing in a woody perennial polyculture field. Dickcissels were one of many bird species that we used Bayesian multi-speices abundance models to show were more abundant in Midwest perennial polyculture fields than in traditional agriculture fields or wild forests and prairies.

Moreover, not only were these birds more common in polycultures, but our analysis of in situ functional traits suggests that the polyculture fields likely maintain these biodiverse bird communities.

Our findings suggest that woody perennial polyculture farms may help conserve birds in the US Midwest, and represent the potential for shared landscapes to boost biodiversity.

Read the open access paper: Functional traits and metacommunity theory reveal that habitat filtering and competition maintain bird diversity in a human shared landscape

Download high resolution file: ecog_2023_03_cover_01.pdf