Biodiv Sci ›› 2011, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (5): 528-534.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2011.07036

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Effects of habitat fragmentation on avian nest predation risk in Thousand Island Lake, Zhejiang Province

Sun Jiji1, Wang Siyu1, Wang Yanping1, Shao Deyu2, Ding Ping1,*()   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Endangered Wildlife of the Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058
    2Jieshou Forestry Farm, Xin’an River Development Corporation, Chun’an County, Zhejiang 311700
  • Received:2011-03-02 Accepted:2011-09-25 Online:2011-09-20 Published:2011-10-08
  • Contact: Ding Ping

Abstract:

To investigate the effects of habitat fragmentation on avian nest predation risk, we placed 726 artificial ground nests with chicken or quail (Coturnix japonica) eggs on 16 islands in edge and interior locations in Thousand Island Lake from April to August 2010. We compared nest predation rates between nests with different egg types and between the nests located at different distances from the edge. We also evaluated the relationships between nest predation and island area, isolation, shape index and plant richness. Predation rate was higher for nests containing quail eggs (81.2%) compared to chicken eggs (60.0%), and lower in the interior than at the edge (66.1% vs. 75.1%). Predation rate was higher in August than that in April or June. Isolation and plant richness had no relationship with nest predation rate; but island area and island shape index were positively related with nest predation rate. Our results suggest that habitat fragmentation could increase avian predation risk due to edge and area effects, and that birds with small eggs might be more sensitive to fragmentation than those with large eggs.

Key words: predation risk, artificial nests, predation rate, edge effects, habitat fragmentation, the Thousand Island Lake