Bird Behavior and Diversity in the Anthropocene

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Birds".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 3162

Special Issue Editor

Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires–IEGEBA (CONICET–UBA), Ciudad Universitaria, Pab 2, Piso 4, Buenos Aires 1426, Argentina
Interests: urban ecology; bird ecology; multiscale

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our planet is facing rapid changes due to anthropogenic changes, such as agriculture, cattle raising, urbanization and climate change. Therefore, it is relevant to understand how these changes are affecting biodiversity. Birds are relatively easy to survey, and they can respond to anthropogenic changes. A deep understanding of bird responses to land use and climate changes could be achieved by analyzing different bird aspects, such as behavior, population changes and diversity changes. Accordingly, this Special Issue aims to analyze behavioral-, population- and community-level responses of birds in response to global changes, which will help enrich our knowledge and predict the impacts of future global changes on birds. Manuscripts within the scope of this Special Issue, either original research or review articles, are welcome to be submitted.

Dr. Lucas M. Leveau
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • behavioral ecology
  • population ecology
  • community ecology

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 10935 KiB  
Article
Natural Patterns in the Dawn and Dusk Choruses of a Neotropical Songbird in Relation to an Urban Sound Environment
Animals 2024, 14(4), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14040646 - 17 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Urbanization is one of the more important phenomena affecting biodiversity in the Anthropocene. Some organisms can cope with urban challenges, and changes in birds’ acoustic communication have been widely studied. Although changes in the timing of the daily organization of acoustic communication have [...] Read more.
Urbanization is one of the more important phenomena affecting biodiversity in the Anthropocene. Some organisms can cope with urban challenges, and changes in birds’ acoustic communication have been widely studied. Although changes in the timing of the daily organization of acoustic communication have been previously reported, there is a significant gap regarding possible variations in song structure between dawn and dusk choruses. Considering that urbanization imposes different soundscapes for dawn and dusk choruses, we postulate two hypotheses: (i) there are variations in song parameters between dawn and dusk choruses, and (ii) such parameters within the city will vary in response to urban noise. We studied urban and extra-urban populations of Chiguanco Thrush in La Paz, Bolivia, measuring in dawn and dusk choruses: song length; song sound pressure level; minimum, maximum, range and dominant frequency; and the number of songs per individual. The results support our two hypotheses: there were more songs, and songs were louder and had larger band widths at dawn than at dusk in urban and extra-urban populations. Urban Chiguanco Thrushes sing less, the frequency of the entire song rises, and the amplitude increases as compared with extra-urban Chiguanco Thrushes. Understanding variations between dawn and dusk choruses could allow for a better interpretation of how some bird species cope with urban challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bird Behavior and Diversity in the Anthropocene)
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12 pages, 1637 KiB  
Article
Species Richness and Composition of Forest Birds in Urban Parks and Reserves of Buenos Aires City, Argentina
Animals 2024, 14(4), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14040602 - 12 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Urbanization is among the main factors of ecosystem transformation and threats to global biodiversity. Urban green spaces provide multiple services, being important for biodiversity and human well-being. However, the relationship between green spaces and forest birds has been scarcely studied in the Global [...] Read more.
Urbanization is among the main factors of ecosystem transformation and threats to global biodiversity. Urban green spaces provide multiple services, being important for biodiversity and human well-being. However, the relationship between green spaces and forest birds has been scarcely studied in the Global South. In this work, we used citizen science data (eBird) to assess the variation in the species richness and composition of forest birds in two types of public urban green spaces characterized by different vegetation composition and management: parks and reserves. In general, reserves had more native and unmanaged vegetation than parks. We selected parks and reserves located in the coastal area of the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sampling effort was considered as the number of checklists for each site. The database allowed information to be extracted from 12 sites and 33 species. The most common species were the Green-barred Woodpecker (Colaptes melanochloros), the Narrow-billed Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris), and the White-crested Tyrannulet (Serpophaga subcristata). Bird species richness was higher in reserves than in parks and was positively related to sampling effort. The forest bird species composition varied according to the type of green area and sampling effort. Species composition showed a significant nestedness, with the least rich sites being a subset of species from the richest sites. Reserves and sites with the highest sampling effort concentrated all species. The results obtained show the importance of urban reserves in the conservation of forest birds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bird Behavior and Diversity in the Anthropocene)
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15 pages, 2407 KiB  
Article
Opposite Responses of Native and Nonnative Birds to Socioeconomics in a Latin American City
Animals 2024, 14(2), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14020299 - 18 Jan 2024
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Abstract
Due to the massive increase of the urban population, a global target is to achieve sustainable cities that are sensitive to nature and environmentally just for urban dwellers. To accomplish this, it is important to understand the responses of native and nonnative birds, [...] Read more.
Due to the massive increase of the urban population, a global target is to achieve sustainable cities that are sensitive to nature and environmentally just for urban dwellers. To accomplish this, it is important to understand the responses of native and nonnative birds, identify the environmental variables that promote native species and limit nonnative species, and understand how they vary among socioeconomic groups. Although many cities in the Global South exhibit strong social and environmental segregation, few studies have investigated the relationship between socioeconomics and biodiversity. Therefore, to help promote ecological justice and biodiversity conservation in the developing world, we investigated the influence of socioeconomic level and woody cover on bird species richness and abundance in the city of Santiago de Chile. We also investigated whether bird response changes with species provenance—it is important to understand the response of native birds separately from nonnative birds because they imply opposite management strategies (e.g., conservation vs. species control/eradication). Thus, we surveyed 120 sites located in residential areas of high, medium, and low socioeconomic levels across the city and fit generalized linear (mixed) models that described bird species richness and abundance for total, native, and nonnative birds according to socioeconomic level and woody vegetation cover. We found that both socioeconomic level and woody vegetation cover influenced the bird community, but their effects changed with bird species origin, having opposite effects on native and nonnative birds. Residential areas where wealthier people live supported greater species richness and abundance of native birds than residential areas where people of lower socioeconomic status live. In contrast, residential areas where vulnerable people live had greater bird abundance that was mainly composed of nonnative birds. Therefore, affluent neighborhoods provide more opportunities to encounter native birds and experience nature close to home than poorer neighborhoods. Due to woody cover having positive effects on native birds and a negative influence on nonnative birds, increasing tree and shrub cover will contribute to supporting more native birds in residential areas deprived of woody vegetation, which are commonly low socioeconomic areas. Additional variables that can explain bird response among residential areas of different socioeconomic levels need to be investigated to better understand the factors influencing the distribution of birds in cities and promote a more biodiverse and environmentally just city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bird Behavior and Diversity in the Anthropocene)
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9 pages, 2618 KiB  
Article
Hunting Site Behaviour of Sympatric Common Buzzard Buteo buteo and Rough-Legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus on Their Wintering Grounds
Animals 2023, 13(17), 2801; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13172801 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Birds wintering in the northern Palearctic compensate for substantial energy losses and prepare for a food deficit in winter by adjusting their foraging behavior. Apart from weather conditions, interspecific competition also drives hunting strategies. To describe this phenomenon, we observed the behavior of [...] Read more.
Birds wintering in the northern Palearctic compensate for substantial energy losses and prepare for a food deficit in winter by adjusting their foraging behavior. Apart from weather conditions, interspecific competition also drives hunting strategies. To describe this phenomenon, we observed the behavior of two sympatrically wintering raptor species: the Common Buzzard and the Rough-legged Buzzard. The study was carried out in east-central Poland during four seasons on a study plot where the densities of both species were high. Interspecific differences were detected in the use of available hunting sites. Rough-legged Buzzards conspicuously avoided using fence posts for scanning the surroundings and spent the most time standing on the ground. Common Buzzards more often used trees for this purpose when the snow cover was thick. Thicker snow cover resulted in fewer attempted attacks on prey in both species and caused Common Buzzards to change their hunting sites less frequently. The study also showed that the more often a bird changed its hunting site, the greater the number of attempted attacks. The outcome is that the ultimate effectiveness of hunting is mediated by the overview of the foraging area from different heights and perspectives, not by the type of hunting site. Snow cover was the most important factor in modifying foraging behavior and possibly intensifying interspecific competition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bird Behavior and Diversity in the Anthropocene)
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16 pages, 15645 KiB  
Article
Avian Diversity Responds Unimodally to Natural Landcover: Implications for Conservation Management
Animals 2023, 13(16), 2647; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13162647 - 16 Aug 2023
Viewed by 687
Abstract
Predicting species’ ecological responses to landcovers within landscapes could guide conservation practices. Current modelling efforts derived from classic species–area relationships almost always predict richness monotonically increasing as the proportion of landcovers increases. Yet evidence to explain hump-shaped richness–landcover patterns is lacking. We tested [...] Read more.
Predicting species’ ecological responses to landcovers within landscapes could guide conservation practices. Current modelling efforts derived from classic species–area relationships almost always predict richness monotonically increasing as the proportion of landcovers increases. Yet evidence to explain hump-shaped richness–landcover patterns is lacking. We tested predictions related to hypothesised drivers of peaked relationships between richness and proportion of natural landcover. We estimated richness from breeding bird atlases at different spatial scales (25 to 900 km2) in New York State and Southern Ontario. We modelled richness to gradients of natural landcover, temperature, and landcover heterogeneity. We controlled models for sampling effort and regional size of the species pool. Species richness peaks as a function of the proportion of natural landcover consistently across spatial scales and geographic regions sharing similar biogeographic characteristics. Temperature plays a role, but peaked relationships are not entirely due to climate–landcover collinearities. Heterogeneity weakly explains richness variance in the models. Increased amounts of natural landcover promote species richness to a limit in landscapes with relatively little (<30%) natural cover. Higher amounts of natural cover and a certain amount of human-modified landcovers can provide habitats for species that prefer open habitats. Much of the variation in richness among landscapes must be related to variables other than natural versus human-dominated landcovers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bird Behavior and Diversity in the Anthropocene)
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