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Bird Communities in Urban Riparian Areas: Response to the Local- and Landscape-Scale Environmental Variables

1
Graduate School of Frontier Science, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa 277-8563, Japan
2
Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University, Matsudo 271-8510, Japan
3
Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning & Design Institute, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(8), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10080683
Received: 29 June 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Management of Temperate Floodplain Forests)
Understanding how environmental changes driven by urbanization impact the biodiversity in urban riparian areas has great importance for landscape planning and river ecosystem conservation. There have been many studies on the response of bird communities to different environmental variables in urban parks; however, although supporting some of the highest bird diversities, case studies in urban riparian areas remain limited. In existing research, few studies have considered the impact of both local waterfront characteristics and surrounding environmental variables at a larger scale. In this study, we selected birds as the indicator to clarify their response to both local- and landscape-scale environmental variables in riparian areas of Tsing river, Beijing, in terms of (a) vegetation composition, (b) human disturbance, (c) land cover, and (d) landscape connectivity. We hypothesized that birds with different biological characteristics may respond differently to environmental variables. Birds were then further grouped according to the habitat type, residential type, and feeding type. It turned out that the coverage of grass and the disturbance of pedestrians are the most influential variables. Besides, compared with the land cover and landscape connectivity, the total contribution of vegetation characteristics and human disturbance accounts for the main proportion of explained variance. Information pertaining to these environmental variables can provide evidence to support bird conservation efforts in urban areas, and the identified distance threshold provides a basis for future landscape connectivity assessments. View Full-Text
Keywords: riparian landscape; biodiversity conservation; landscape connectivity; land cover; dispersal distance; human disturbance riparian landscape; biodiversity conservation; landscape connectivity; land cover; dispersal distance; human disturbance
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Guo, S.; Su, C.; Saito, K.; Cheng, J.; Terada, T. Bird Communities in Urban Riparian Areas: Response to the Local- and Landscape-Scale Environmental Variables. Forests 2019, 10, 683.

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