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Which Traits Influence Bird Survival in the City? A Review

Center for Climate Change and Sustainability, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru 562125, India
Nature Conservation Foundation, 1311, ‘Amritha’, 12th A Main, Vijayanagar 1st Stage, Mysore 570017, India
Snow Leopard Trust, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Suite 325, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alessio Russo and Giuseppe T. Cirella
Land 2021, 10(2), 92;
Received: 26 November 2020 / Revised: 18 January 2021 / Accepted: 19 January 2021 / Published: 20 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Ecosystem Services II: Toward a Sustainable Future)
Urbanization poses a major threat to biodiversity worldwide. We focused on birds as a well-studied taxon of interest, in order to review literature on traits that influence responses to urbanization. We review 226 papers that were published between 1979 and 2020, and aggregate information on five major groups of traits that have been widely studied: ecological traits, life history, physiology, behavior and genetic traits. Some robust findings on trait changes in individual species as well as bird communities emerge. A lack of specific food and shelter resources has led to the urban bird community being dominated by generalist species, while specialist species show decline. Urbanized birds differ in the behavioral traits, showing an increase in song frequency and amplitude, and bolder behavior, as compared to rural populations of the same species. Differential food resources and predatory pressure results in changes in life history traits, including prolonged breeding duration, and increases in clutch and brood size to compensate for lower survival. Other species-specific changes include changes in hormonal state, body state, and genetic differences from rural populations. We identify gaps in research, with a paucity of studies in tropical cities and a need for greater examination of traits that influence persistence and success in native vs. introduced populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanization; birds; ecosystem services; survival; adaptations; traits urbanization; birds; ecosystem services; survival; adaptations; traits
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MDPI and ACS Style

Patankar, S.; Jambhekar, R.; Suryawanshi, K.R.; Nagendra, H. Which Traits Influence Bird Survival in the City? A Review. Land 2021, 10, 92.

AMA Style

Patankar S, Jambhekar R, Suryawanshi KR, Nagendra H. Which Traits Influence Bird Survival in the City? A Review. Land. 2021; 10(2):92.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Patankar, Swaroop, Ravi Jambhekar, Kulbhushansingh R. Suryawanshi, and Harini Nagendra. 2021. "Which Traits Influence Bird Survival in the City? A Review" Land 10, no. 2: 92.

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