By Karen Stagoll, David B. Lindenmayer, Emma Knight, Joem Fischer, and Adrian D. Manning
Canberra, Australia (February 2, 2012)- Large trees are considered keystone structures in agricultural and forestry production landscapes, but research demonstrating this in urban landscapes is currently limited. This study encourages mature trees to be recognized in policy to ensure their ongoing existence. Researchers studied the role of large native trees for birds in urban parks in Canberra, Australia.
Findings revealed by the study included that large trees had a consistent, strong, and positive relationship with five measures of bird diversity. Also, as trees increased in size, their positive effect on bird diversity increased. Researchers concluded that mature urban trees are keystone structures that provide crucial habitat resources for wildlife. With evidence-based tree preservation policies that recognize biodiversity values, and proactive planning for future large trees, the protection and perpetuation of these important keystone structures can be achieved.