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Linking vegetation structure and bird organization: response of mixed-species bird flocks to forest succession in subtropical China

As forests undergo natural succession following artificial afforestation, their bird assemblages also change. However, interspecific avian social organization associated with forest succession has not been fully understood, particularly for mixed-species bird flocks. To disentangle how mixed-species... Full description

Journal Title: Biodiversity & Conservation Aug 2013, Vol.22(9), pp.1965-1989
Main Author: Zhang, Qiang
Other Authors: Han, Richou , Huang, Zhongliang , Zou, Fasheng
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 09603115 ; DOI: 10.1007/s10531-013-0521-5
Link: http://search.proquest.com/docview/1415564736/?pq-origsite=primo
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title: Linking vegetation structure and bird organization: response of mixed-species bird flocks to forest succession in subtropical China
format: Article
creator:
  • Zhang, Qiang
  • Han, Richou
  • Huang, Zhongliang
  • Zou, Fasheng
subjects:
  • Vegetation
  • Birds
  • Forests
  • Biological Diversity
  • Conservation Biology
ispartof: Biodiversity & Conservation, Aug 2013, Vol.22(9), pp.1965-1989
description: As forests undergo natural succession following artificial afforestation, their bird assemblages also change. However, interspecific avian social organization associated with forest succession has not been fully understood, particularly for mixed-species bird flocks. To disentangle how mixed-species flocks change as a function of local forest structure, we analyzed flock characteristics (particularly species richness, flocking frequency and propensity) and vegetation physiognomies along a presumed successional series (early, middle, and advanced) simultaneously in subtropical forests in southern China. As hypothesized, monthly point counts demonstrated that complexity of flocks increases with the progression of natural forest succession at a local scale. Advanced forests differed significantly from pioneering plantations with respect to vegetation structure, flock characteristics and constituents (especially for understory specialists). Importantly, forest succession affected flock patterns particularly in relation to the flocking propensity of regular species, and the frequency of nuclear species (Huet's fulvetta Alcippe hueti), which in turn determined flocking occurrence at different successional stands. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that understory flocking species (mainly Timaliidae babblers) were significantly associated with intact native canopy cover, complex DBH diversity, as well as high densities of dead trees and large trees, representing a maturity level of successional stands. Our study reveals that the effect of natural forest succession on mixed-species bird flocks is species-specific and guild-dependent. From a conservation perspective, despite a high proliferation of pine plantation in southern China, priority should be placed on protecting the advanced forest with a rich collection of understory flocking specialists.[PUBLICATION ]
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 09603115 ; DOI: 10.1007/s10531-013-0521-5
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 09603115
  • 0960-3115
url: Link


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titleLinking vegetation structure and bird organization: response of mixed-species bird flocks to forest succession in subtropical China
creatorZhang, Qiang ; Han, Richou ; Huang, Zhongliang ; Zou, Fasheng
ispartofBiodiversity & Conservation, Aug 2013, Vol.22(9), pp.1965-1989
identifierISSN: 09603115 ; DOI: 10.1007/s10531-013-0521-5
subjectVegetation ; Birds ; Forests ; Biological Diversity ; Conservation Biology
descriptionAs forests undergo natural succession following artificial afforestation, their bird assemblages also change. However, interspecific avian social organization associated with forest succession has not been fully understood, particularly for mixed-species bird flocks. To disentangle how mixed-species flocks change as a function of local forest structure, we analyzed flock characteristics (particularly species richness, flocking frequency and propensity) and vegetation physiognomies along a presumed successional series (early, middle, and advanced) simultaneously in subtropical forests in southern China. As hypothesized, monthly point counts demonstrated that complexity of flocks increases with the progression of natural forest succession at a local scale. Advanced forests differed significantly from pioneering plantations with respect to vegetation structure, flock characteristics and constituents (especially for understory specialists). Importantly, forest succession affected flock patterns particularly in relation to the flocking propensity of regular species, and the frequency of nuclear species (Huet's fulvetta Alcippe hueti), which in turn determined flocking occurrence at different successional stands. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that understory flocking species (mainly Timaliidae babblers) were significantly associated with intact native canopy cover, complex DBH diversity, as well as high densities of dead trees and large trees, representing a maturity level of successional stands. Our study reveals that the effect of natural forest succession on mixed-species bird flocks is species-specific and guild-dependent. From a conservation perspective, despite a high proliferation of pine plantation in southern China, priority should be placed on protecting the advanced forest with a rich collection of understory flocking specialists.[PUBLICATION ]
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titleLinking vegetation structure and bird organization: response of mixed-species bird flocks to forest succession in subtropical China
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abstractAs forests undergo natural succession following artificial afforestation, their bird assemblages also change. However, interspecific avian social organization associated with forest succession has not been fully understood, particularly for mixed-species bird flocks. To disentangle how mixed-species flocks change as a function of local forest structure, we analyzed flock characteristics (particularly species richness, flocking frequency and propensity) and vegetation physiognomies along a presumed successional series (early, middle, and advanced) simultaneously in subtropical forests in southern China. As hypothesized, monthly point counts demonstrated that complexity of flocks increases with the progression of natural forest succession at a local scale. Advanced forests differed significantly from pioneering plantations with respect to vegetation structure, flock characteristics and constituents (especially for understory specialists). Importantly, forest succession affected flock patterns particularly in relation to the flocking propensity of regular species, and the frequency of nuclear species (Huet's fulvetta Alcippe hueti), which in turn determined flocking occurrence at different successional stands. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that understory flocking species (mainly Timaliidae babblers) were significantly associated with intact native canopy cover, complex DBH diversity, as well as high densities of dead trees and large trees, representing a maturity level of successional stands. Our study reveals that the effect of natural forest succession on mixed-species bird flocks is species-specific and guild-dependent. From a conservation perspective, despite a high proliferation of pine plantation in southern China, priority should be placed on protecting the advanced forest with a rich collection of understory flocking specialists.[PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
copDordrecht
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doi10.1007/s10531-013-0521-5
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eissn15729710
date2013-08