© 2019, The Author(s). Biodiversity monitoring at simultaneously fine spatial resolutions and large spatial extents is needed but limited by operational trade-offs and costs. Open-access data may be cost-effective to address those limitations. We test the use of open-access satellite imagery (NDVI texture variables) and biodiversity data, assembled from GBIF, to investigate the relative importance of variables of habitat extent and structure as indicators of bird community richness and dissimilarity in the Alentejo region (Portugal). Results show that, at the landscape scale, forest bird richness is better indicated by the availability of tree cover in the overall landscape than by the extent or structure of the forest habitats. Open-land birds also respond to landscape structure, namely to the spectral homogeneity and size of open-land patches and to the presence of perennial vegetation amid herbaceous habitats. Moreover, structure variables were more important than climate variables or geographic distance to explain community dissimilarity patterns at the regional scale. Overall, summer imagery, when perennial vegetation is more discernible, is particularly suited to inform indicators of forest and open-land bird community richness and dissimilarity, while spring imagery appears to be also useful to inform indicators of open-land bird richness.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2019|