Zoological Research ›› 2016, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (3): 151-158.doi: 10.13918/j.issn.2095-8137.2016.3.151

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Effects of forest fragmentation on nocturnal Asian birds: A case study from Xishuangbanna, China

Salindra K. DAYANANDA1,2,3,4, Eben GOODALE2, Myung-bok LEE2, Jia-Jia LIU5, Christos MAMMIDES6, Bonifacio O. PASION1,4, Rui-Chang QUAN1, J. W. Ferry SLIK7, Rachakonda SREEKAR1,8, Kyle W. TOMLINSON1, Mika YASUDA9   

  1. 1 Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Yunnan 666303, China;
    2 College of Forestry, Guangxi University, Nanning, Guangxi 530005, China;
    3 Foundation for Nature Conservation and Preservation, Panadura 12500, Sri Lanka;
    4 University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    5 Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Endangered Wildlife of the Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027, China;
    6 Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Yunnan 666303, China;
    7 Faculty of Science, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jln. Tungku Link, Gadong BE1410, Brunei Darussalam;
    8 School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia;
    9 Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
  • Received:2016-02-10 Revised:2016-04-20 Online:2016-05-18 Published:2016-05-18
  • Contact: Eben GOODALE, Rui-Chang QUAN E-mail:eben.goodale@outlook.com;quan@xtbg.ac.cn
  • Supported by:

    This study was financially supported by the 1000 Plan Recruitment Program of Global Experts of China to EG


Owls have the potential to be keystone species for conservation in fragmented landscapes, as the absence of these predators could profoundly change community structure. Yet few studies have examined how whole communities of owls respond to fragmentation, especially in the tropics. When evaluating the effect of factors related to fragmentation, such as fragment area and distance to the edge, on these birds, it is also important in heterogeneous landscapes to ask how ‘location factors’ such as the topography, vegetation and soil of the fragment predict their persistence. In Xishuangbanna, southwest China, we established 43 transects (200 m×60 m) within 20 forest fragments to sample nocturnal birds, both visually and aurally. We used a multimodel inference approach to identify the factors that influence owl species richness, and generalized linear mixed models to predict the occurrence probabilities of each species. We found that fragmentation factors dominated location factors, with larger fragments having more species, and four of eight species were significantly more likely to occur in large fragments. Given the potential importance of these birds on regulating small mammal and other animal populations, and thus indirectly affecting seed dispersal, we suggest further protection of large fragments and programs to increase their connectivity to the remaining smaller fragments.

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