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Abstract Full Text

A preliminary study of the effects of a mountain village landscape on bird diversity: a case study of Lianghu Village, Jinshan District, northern Taiwan.

Abstract

The mosaic landscape of satoyama (a mountain village) in Japan has the function of maintaining high biodiversity. This traditional land management model has been widely promoted by ecologists in recent years and introduced to many countries including Taiwan. We surveyed bird communities in the forests, forest edges, and mosaic habitats in Lianghu Village, Jinshan District, northern Taiwan, and this study aimed to elucidate: (1) What are the effects of mountain village landscapes on bird diversity? and (2) What are the effects of mountain village landscapes on different functional groups of birds? Results showed that bird species richness and numbers of individuals in the forest habitats were lower than those in the mixed forest-agricultural habitats (including both the forest edge and mosaic habitats). Most of the bird species that appeared in the forest habitats also appeared in the mixed forest-agriculture habitats. However, many bird species only appeared in the forest-agricultural landscape, such as Bubulcus ibis and Egretta garzetta which prefer wetlands, and Streptopelia chinensis, Lonchura punctulata, and Lonchura striata which prefer to feed on grain in agricultural lands, as well as the invasive species Acridotheres javanicus. For birds in each functional group, the species richness and numbers of individuals of the forest-type, grassland-type, wetland-type, and farmland-type birds were lower in the forest habitat than in the forest-agricultural mosaic habitat. However, there was no significant difference in the species richness or numbers of individuals of forest-type, village-type, and diverse habitat-type birds between the forest habitat and forest-agricultural mosaic habitat. Results of the effects of landscape on bird diversity indicated that bird diversity was positively correlated with the area of uplands, the length of mosaic edges, and habitat diversity, so the current mosaic landscape created by the fine-scale farming system in Lianghu Village may have positive effects on bird species diversity. The fine-scale farming patches and high degrees of connectivity (low isolation) with surrounding forests in this forest-agriculture mosaic landscape may facilitate the co-occurrence of forest-type and non-forest-type bird species in this mountain village. Nevertheless, the ecological effects of the occurrence of some non-forest-type bird species in this forest-agriculture mosaic landscape still need to be further investigated.