Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (5): 21515.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021515

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Bird diversity in different habitats under agriculturalization in Guangxi, China

Jiaxing Li, Christos Mammides, Liping Zhou, Jiajie Sun, Xiaocai Tan, Aiwu Jiang()   

  1. Guangxi Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Conservation, College of Forestry, Guangxi University, Nanning 530005
  • Received:2021-12-12 Accepted:2022-03-17 Online:2022-05-20 Published:2022-04-09
  • Contact: Aiwu Jiang


Aims: Due to the increasing demand for agricultural land, biodiversity in China has faced increased losses. Our goal in this study is to evaluate how agriculturalization influences bird communities.

Methods We conducted field surveys from October 2020 to October 2021 in three different habitats: (1) forest, (2) agricultural land close to the forest (0‒3 km), and (3) agricultural land far from the forest (6‒9 km). In total, we surveyed bird communities in 180 plots and then repeated the survey for each plot in each season (spring, summer, autumn and winter). All plots were one of three different national nature reserves in Guangxi: Dayaoshan, Damingshan, and Shiwandashan.

Results: (1) The species accumulation curve of each habitat increased at a decreasing rate. The ratio of each habitat’s recorded species richness to the estimated species richness was larger than 60%, indicating that sufficient sampling was conducted; (2) We recorded a total of 196 species belonging to 14 genera and 54 families; passerine birds accounted for the highest proportion of recorded species (71.4%). The total number of species in each habitat type from highest to lowest were: forest (103), agricultural land close to the forest (101), and agricultural land far from the forest (94); (3) Similarity analysis implied that species composition was more similar between the two agricultural habitats, and both were different from forests; (4) Agricultural plots far from the forest had on average the highest Shannon-Wiener diversity index, while forest plots had the lowest in different seasons; (5) The results of the generalized linear mixed model indicated that the bird diversity in each plot per survey in both agricultural land far and close was significantly higher than in forest habitat, but there was no difference between the two agricultural habitats.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that although forests have the lowest species diversity, some species in the forest have very strict habitat requirements. Therefore, protecting forest species and their habitat is vital. Although many species have strong preferences for agricultural habitat, human disturbance in agricultural areas is often extensive and detrimental, so clear protection measures for birds in those areas are necessary as well.

Key words: agriculturalization, bird diversity, species accumulation curves, Shannon-Wiener index, generalized linear mixed model, bird conservation