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University of Cape Town (2000)

The effects of habitat change on bird diversity and community structure in a mesic Savanna landscape

Skowno, Andrew L

Titre : The effects of habitat change on bird diversity and community structure in a mesic Savanna landscape

Auteur : Skowno, Andrew L

Université de soutenance : University of Cape Town.

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2000

Résumé
Multivariate analyses were used to determine the relative importance of vegetation structure and floristic composition in defining bird communities in a savanna ecosystem. Birds were censused, plant species were identified and vegetation structure was measured in four different habitat types in Hluhluwe
- Umfolozi Park (HUP) in northern Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), was used to determine the dominant community groupings of the plant and bird species. Detrended canonical correspondence analysis (DCCA), a direct type of gradient analysis, was used to relate vegetation structure to bird community organisation. The bird communities of the four vegetation types are relatively sharply defined, and are linearly arranged on the first axis of the DCCA. Canopy cover and Foliage height diversity (FHD) are strongly correlated with this axis suggesting a successional series from grassland to Acacia nilotica woodland to broad leaf woodland. The sites are not arranged in the same linear series on the basis of their plant communities. The broad leaf and Acacia nigrescens sites each have relatively distinct plant communities, and occupy opposite ends of the ordination diagram. The A. nilotica and grassland sites group together forming a single central plant community in the ordination diagram. There is a high degree of dissimilarity in the bird community composition between the vegetation types. Vegetation change associated with secondary succession could thus lead to major changes in bird community composition. The results suggest that it is the physiognomic changes which drive the turn over in bird species not the floristic changes.

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Page publiée le 14 janvier 2019