Effects of vegetation strata and human disturbance on bird diversity in green areas in a city in southern Chile

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URI:
http://repositoriodigital.uct.cl/handle/10925/2079
Facultad:
Facultad de Recursos Naturales
Fecha de publicación:
2019-11-13
Datos de publicación:
Avian research, Vol. 9, N° 38, 2018
Temas:
Urbanización - Aves urbanas
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Resumen:
Urbanisation is a dominant geographical trend and an important component of global change, with unprecedented implications for socio-economic, cultural and environmental characteristics. However, green areas, including original fragments, can help to conserve native diversity, improving the functioning of these artificial systems in the long term. Urban areas can still provide habitats usable by wild birds, however the structural characteristics of the habitat formed by different types of green area differ, and therefore dissimilar bird diversities are to be expected. The object of this study was to characterise the α and β diversities of birds in different green areas and to analyse how diversity relates to ten variables that characterise the habitat. Methods: We studied the green areas in the city of Temuco, southern Chile (Park, Square and Median strips of main streets), evaluating the variables: (a) surface area, (b) vegetation, (c) estimated human impact as the proportions of vegetation and bare soil by area, and the vehicle traffic. The bird assemblage structures were characterised by α (intra-environment) diversity and β diversity (between environments) and the statistical analysis identified the environmental variables related with the presence and abundance of birds. A statistical model was constructed to describe the contribution of the variables to bird diversity. Results: We found significant differences between the diversity of bird species in the three types of green area. The β showed medium to high similarity between the different study units. There was a negative correlation with bare soil areas; the correlations with vehicle flow, plant structure and tree and shrub cover were not significant, meaning that these variables did not explain the variation in the richness of bird species between the green areas. However the surface area did explain this variation presenting a positive potential relation. There was also a high correlation with the origin (native) of shrub species. Conclusions: The bird diversity varied significantly according to the type of urban green area. The environmental variables presenting significant correlations with bird diversity were: surface area, native species of shrub stratum, shrub cover, and bare soil area. The best multiple regression model showed that the three most important variables for bird diversity are the surface area of the green area, the cover of the shrub stratum and the presence of native shrub species

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