Seasonal diversity and distribution patterns of birds in agricultural landscapes of Gujrat, Pakistan

Muhammad Umar, Mubashar Hussain, David Lee

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    Abstract

    Habitat selection in agricultural landscapes by wild bird species shows their adaptability to maximize their opportunities to benefit from landscape crop production. We assessed seasonal patterns in avian diversity and distribution of agroforestry, urban croplands and rural croplands of Gujrat, Pakistan from April 2017 to March 2019. We randomly positioned three 1 km transects > 500 m apart at each sampling point in three study sites. We conducted both morning (05-08:00) and afternoon (16-19:00) surveys, recording all birds seen or heard along transects to a maximum perpendicular distance of 50 m; 0.1 km2 surveyed per transect. In total, we recorded 39 bird species belonging to 20 families and eight orders. We found significant differences in seasonal abundance and species richness related to species’ residential status. Across the survey period, species diversity was greater in winter (October-March; H´= 3.279) than in summer (April-September; H´= 2.987). Spatially, avian diversity was highest in agroforestry (H´ = 4.261), then urban cropland (H´ = 3.746), and lowest in pure croplands (H´ = 2.247). Bird community composition changed significantly across seasons and agricultural systems. Resident species tended to contribute most to intra-seasonal and system community similarities. The avian communities reported from these semi-arid croplands indicate agriculture landscapes provide habitat for both summer visitors and winter visitors. Overall, agroforestry systems support higher richness and diversity than more open, cropland systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)127-138
    Number of pages12
    JournalPakistan Journal of Zoology
    Volume55
    Issue number1
    Early online date9 Feb 2022
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Feb 2022

    Keywords

    • Agricultural landscapes
    • Bird assemblages
    • Community analysis
    • Cropland
    • Spatiotemporal patterns

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