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Scale Differences in the Dependence of Seasonal Bird Diversity on Landscape Structure: A Case Study in Northeastern China

Scale Differences in the Dependence of Seasonal Bird Diversity on Landscape Structure: A Case Study in Northeastern China

Min Li1,2, Jingjing Wang3, Suxian Hu3, Philip Stott4, Baoqing Lin5, Lianshan Li5, Hui Liu1, Heng Bao1, Duoying Cui6 and Guangshun Jiang1,* 

1 College of Wildlife Resources, Northeast Forestry University, 26 Hexing Road, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150040, P.R. China
2 Forestry Bureau of Fuzhou City, Fuzhou Jiangxi 344000, China
3 Library of Northeast Forestry University, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, P.R. China
4Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, P.R. China
5Xianghai National Nature Reserve of Jilin, Baicheng, Jilin 137000, P.R. China.
6Beijing Key Laboratory of Captive Wildlife Technologies, Beijing Zoo, Beijing 100044, China

Min Li, Jingjing Wang and Suxian Hu are co-first authors.

*     Corresponding author: jgshun@126.com

 

ABSTRACT

Wildlife interact with environmental variables at different spatial scales. We undertook point counts of birds in the Xianghai wetland reserve of northeastern China from 2000 to 2009, and used remote sensing and GIS technologies to map land cover types. We linked cover types to avian species richness, evenness, and Shannon’s diversity using a stepwise linear regression model and regressions of proportions of cover types at different spatial scales. We recorded 109,026 sightings comprising 94 species, and found that avian diversity indices were positively influenced by the presence of open water, farmland, and alkaline marsh, and negatively by human settlement; and in addition, these relationships were only apparent when scale was considered. We detected the dependence of the avian assemblage on alkaline marshes and open water, which in turn might depend on incoming flows of water. We also found negative relationship between human settlements and bird diversity which extended to a distance of 3 km. Consequently, we provide evidence of significant scale dependence on landscape structure of wetland bird diversity. Therefore, scalar effects of different habitat variables need to be taken into account when managing wetland bird populations with the aim of conserving avian biodiversity. 
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 51, Iss. 6, Pages 1999-2399

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