Biodiversity Science ›› 2008, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (4): 321-331.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08079

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Nested analysis of passeriform bird assemblages in the Thousand Island Lake region

Jingcheng Zhang, Yanping Wang, Pingping Jiang, Peng Li, Mingjian Yu, Ping Ding*   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058
  • Online:2008-07-20

Between April 2006 and November 2007, we used line-transects to survey species richness of passeriform birds on 20 islands in order to test for nestedness within bird assemblages in the Thousand Island Lake region. To determine factors correlated with patterns of nestedness, we also conducted field surveys of plant species richness on these islands, and defined and valued some species-specific characteristics such as body length, distribution width, and habitat specificity using field surveys and literature searches. Area and isolation of islands were measured with a Geographic Information System (GIS). Nestedness and correlation analyses showed that the passeriform bird community in the Thousand Island Lake region had a significant nested pattern that was influenced by area and plant species richness of an island, and habitat specificity of the bird species. Selective extinction was observed in the bird community. Plant species richness and habitat specificity of species impacted nestedness of bird assemblages through their influence on distributional pat-terns of birds. We showed that patterns of nestedness of passeriform bird communities were determined by both habitat and species-specific characteristics, and that more attention should be paid to large islands and those with high plant richness, and to bird species with high habitat specificity when making conservation plans.

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