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.
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