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The effect of urbanization on the functional and scale-sensitive diversity of bird assemblages in Central India

  • Manoj Kale (a1), Nandkishor Dudhe (a2), Marco Ferrante (a3), Tatiana Ivanova (a4), Raju Kasambe (a2), Irina S. Trukhanova (a5), Prosun Bhattacharya (a1) and Gabor L. Lövei (a3)...

Diversity changes can be evaluated at various spatial scales, and the relationship between changes in diversity at the local, landscape and regional scales is not evident. The overall patterns of functional and beta diversity of bird assemblages were evaluated along a five-stage urbanization gradient, censused over the months of January to April in the years 2010–2013, in and around Amravati city, Deccan Plateau, Central India. We expected the abundance of large and predatory species to decline along the gradient, and urbanization to homogenize species richness at the landscape level. Overall, 112,829 birds belonging to 89 species were identified in the region, and species richness decreased from the rural forest (73 species) to more urbanized areas (lowest at the centre of Amravaty city with 29 species). Along the urbanization gradient, bird assemblages contained more small species, and the share of frugivorous and omnivorous species also increased, while that of insectivorous species decreased. Diversity partitioning indicated that of the overall pattern, local (alpha) diversity accounted for 50.1% of the total (gamma) diversity, and urbanization stages another 36.2%; the contribution of within-stage, local diversity was rather small (2.7%), indicating fairly homogeneous assemblages.

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