Biodiv Sci ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (6): 677-687.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.11088

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparison of compositions and functional guilds of bird communities across an edge-interior gradient in secondary forest at Houmiling, Hainan Island, China

Jianyun Gao1,2, Zhaolu Wu1, Qiang Zhang2, Dongdong Su1,2, Rendong Zhao3, Fasheng Zou2,*()   

  1. 1 Institute of Ecology and Geobotany, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091
    2 Guangdong Entomological Institute/South China Institute of Endangered Animals, Guangzhou 510260
    3 Hainan Houmiling Nature Reserve, Dongfang, Hainan 572600
  • Received:2013-04-09 Accepted:2013-05-30 Online:2013-11-20 Published:2013-12-02
  • Contact: Zou Fasheng


To understand edge effects on bird communities in a secondary-growth tropical rainforest, we examined how forest bird communities and different guilds change from the edge to the interior of a secondary forest at Houmiling Nature Reserve, Hainan. The study was conducted between August 2010 and September 2012, and used point counts and mist netting to survey birds at three sampling transects from the forest edge: 0-100 m (edge transect), 101-300 m (intermediate transect) and 301-500 m (interior transect). A total of 93 species were recorded. There were significant differences among the three sampling transects for mean species richness and mean number of individuals per point. Multiple comparisons revealed that species richness and individual abundance was highest in the intermediate transect and lowest in the edge transect. Species composition differed significantly from the edge to the interior transect. Intermediate and interior transects supported more forest-dependent species and forest generalists whose guilds were composed of frugivores, nectarivores and insectivores, which were sensitive to conditions at the forest edge. The edge transect harboured more open-habitat users, as well as a great number of granivores, ground insectivores and omnivores. In conclusion, forest edges have negative effects on bird diversity on Hainan Island, which should be borne in mind when developing strategies for forest bird conservation and habitat management.

Key words: tropical evergreen monsoon forest, secondary forest, edge effects, bird communities, bird compositions and functional guilds, Houmiling on Hainan Island