Response of forest bird communities to forest gap in winter in southwestern China|
ZHAO, Dong-Dong; WU, Ying-Huan; LU, Zhou; JIANG, Guang-Wei & ZHOU, Fang
Although forest gap ecology is an important field of study, research remains limited. By plot setting and point counted
observation, the response of birds to forest gaps in winter as well as bird distribution patterns in forest gaps and intact canopies were
studied in a north tropical monsoon forest of southwestern China from November 2011 to February 2012 in the Fangcheng Golden
Camellia National Nature Reserve, Guangxi. The regression equation of bird species diversity to habitat factor was Y1=0.611+0.002
X13+0.043 X2+0.002 X5−0.003 X8+0.006 X10+0.008 X1 and the regression equation of bird species dominance index to habitat factor was Y3=0.533+0.001 X13+0.019 X2+0.002 X3−0.017 X4+0.002 X1. There were 45 bird species (2 orders and 13 families) recorded in the forest gap, accounting for 84.9% of all birds (n=45), with an average of 9.6 species (range: 2−22). Thirty-nine bird species (5 orders and 14 families) were recorded in non-gap areas, accounting for 73.6% of all birds (n=39), with an average of 5.3 species (range: 1−12). These results suggested that gap size, arbor average height (10m from gap margin), arbor quantity (10m from gap margin), shrub quantity (10m from gap margin), herbal average coverage (1m from gap margin) and bare land ratio were the key forest gap factors that influenced bird diversities. On the whole, bird diversity in the forest gap was greater than in the intact canopy.
Spatial distributions in the forest gaps were also observed in the bird community. Most birds foraged in the “middle” and “canopy”
layers in the vertical stratification. In addition, “nearly from” and “close from” contained more birds in relation to horizontal
stratification. Feeding niche differentiation was suggested as the main reason for these distribution patterns.
Forest gap; Bird diversity; Spatial distribution; Trophic distribution; Forest