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Habitat and fig characteristics influence the bird assemblage and network properties of fig trees from Xishuangbanna, South-West China

  • Sawat Sanitjan (a1) (a2) and Jin Chen (a1)

To understand how fruit tree characteristics and microhabitats shape the assemblage of birds on fig trees and the pattern of fig–bird interactions, we observed and recorded, over 96 d and 816 h, the frugivorous birds visiting 32 individual trees belonging to 14 species of Ficus that were distributed across four different sites. A total of 30 bird species were recorded as eating figs, comprising 66.7% of the total number of frugivorous bird species recorded at the four sites. Small passerine birds such as bulbuls were the dominant frugivores for fig species. The number of bird species visiting different fig trees was significantly influenced by the crop size and canopy volume. Fruit colour and fruit size did not significantly influence the number of bird species, whereas habitats appeared to influence the composition of visiting birds. The fig–frugivorous bird interaction was asymmetrically structured, and the degree of nestedness appeared to be influenced by the forest type and degree of disturbance: the degree of nestedness in non-limestone forest tended to be higher than limestone forest; forest with less disturbance tend to be more nested compared with the open forest with high disturbance.

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