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Food preferences determine habitat selection at multiple scales: implication for bird conservation in tropical forests
Published in Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume: 21
Issue: 4
Pages: 332 - 342
Forest degradation and fragmentation of quality habitat across the tropics underpins an urgent need for the conservation of area-sensitive species. Management strategies adopted for small-scale landscape patches may not be suitable for conservation of different communities across large landscapes. In this context, we examined the relationship of bird community composition and different bird functional groups with tree cover and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) at multiple landscape scales and also tested the effect of forest degradation on bird community composition. This study demonstrates the importance of core forest habitat for the conservation of area sensitive species. Forest degradation had negative impact on the bird community composition though some functional groups were associated with degraded areas. At the community level, bird density and richness was best explained by a combination of both NDVI at the patch level (50 m scale) and tree cover at the landscape level (500 m scale) where the patch level character was found to be more important than landscape level character. Most of the functional groups which preferred insects as primary or secondary diet items were sensitive to differences at the patch level (NDVI), whereas large frugivorous species were sensitive to differences at the landscape level (tree cover). High vegetation complexity should be conserved at the patch level (at least up to 50 m) for the conservation of insectivorous, nectarivorous and small to medium size frugivorous groups and tree cover should be conserved at the landscape level (at least up to 500 m) for the conservation of large-bodied frugivorous birds. © 2018 The Zoological Society of London
About the journal
JournalAnimal Conservation
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Open AccessNo