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Seasonal Changes in Bird Species and Feeding Guilds along Elevational Gradients of the Central Himalayas, Nepal.

Katuwal HB, Basnet K, Khanal B, Devkota S, Rai SK, Gajurel JP, Scheidegger C, Nobis MP - PLoS ONE (2016)

Bottom Line: Similar patterns were found for the most species-rich feeding guilds of insectivores (96 species) and omnivores (24 species), whereas the species richness of herbivores (37 species including frugivores) increased towards higher elevations.Similarly, individual bird species showed distinct spatio-temporal distribution patterns, with transitions from species dominated by elevational differences to those characterized by strong seasonal changes.In an era of climate change, the results demonstrate that individual bird species as well as feeding guilds might greatly differ in their responses to climate warming and changes in the seasonality of the precipitation regime, two aspects of climate change which should not be analyzed independently.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.

ABSTRACT
The Himalayas are a global hotspot for bird diversity with a large number of threatened species, but little is known about seasonal changes in bird communities along elevational gradients in this region. We studied the seasonality of bird diversity in six valleys of the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Using 318 plots with a 50 m radius, located from 2200 to 3800 m a.s.l., and repeated sampling during different seasons (mainly pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon), we analyzed 3642 occurrences of 178 species. Birds classified in the literature as resident were more species-rich than migratory birds (140 vs. 38 species). In all six valleys and within the studied elevation range, species richness of all birds showed a peak at mid-elevation levels of 2600 or 3000 m a.s.l. Similar patterns were found for the most species-rich feeding guilds of insectivores (96 species) and omnivores (24 species), whereas the species richness of herbivores (37 species including frugivores) increased towards higher elevations. Among these feeding guilds, only species richness of insectivores showed pronounced seasonal changes with higher species numbers during post-monsoon season. Similarly, individual bird species showed distinct spatio-temporal distribution patterns, with transitions from species dominated by elevational differences to those characterized by strong seasonal changes. In an era of climate change, the results demonstrate that individual bird species as well as feeding guilds might greatly differ in their responses to climate warming and changes in the seasonality of the precipitation regime, two aspects of climate change which should not be analyzed independently.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Overview of the three study regions.Map sections show the study sites in the investigated six valleys of the Central Himalayas, Nepal.
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pone.0158362.g001: Overview of the three study regions.Map sections show the study sites in the investigated six valleys of the Central Himalayas, Nepal.

Mentions: Seasonal dynamics of bird distributions along elevational gradients were studied in three regions of the Central Himalayas, Nepal (Fig 1). From west to east, the regions were: Manaslu Conservation Area (MCA) in the Gorkha district, the Dudhkoshi and Dudhkunda valleys (DDV) including Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) with its buffer zones in the Solukhumbu district, and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) in the Taplejung district. In each of these three regions, two valleys were investigated: the Nubri (28.56927°N, 84.73417°E) and Tsum (28.48305°N, 85.04695°E) valleys in MCA, the Dudhkoshi (27.77505°N, 86.72220°E) and Dudhkunda (27.59188°N, 86.61712°E) valleys in DDV, and the Olanchungola (27.68068°N, 87.77882°E) and Ghunsa (27.59585°N, 87.87867°E) valleys in KCA. We assigned numbers to the valleys (one to six) in the following order: Nubri, Dudhkoshi, Olanchungola, Tsum, Dudhkunda and Ghunsa. BirdLife International has identified SNP and KCA as Important Bird Areas of Nepal, and this status has been proposed for MCA [38].


Seasonal Changes in Bird Species and Feeding Guilds along Elevational Gradients of the Central Himalayas, Nepal.

Katuwal HB, Basnet K, Khanal B, Devkota S, Rai SK, Gajurel JP, Scheidegger C, Nobis MP - PLoS ONE (2016)

Overview of the three study regions.Map sections show the study sites in the investigated six valleys of the Central Himalayas, Nepal.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4930183&req=5

pone.0158362.g001: Overview of the three study regions.Map sections show the study sites in the investigated six valleys of the Central Himalayas, Nepal.
Mentions: Seasonal dynamics of bird distributions along elevational gradients were studied in three regions of the Central Himalayas, Nepal (Fig 1). From west to east, the regions were: Manaslu Conservation Area (MCA) in the Gorkha district, the Dudhkoshi and Dudhkunda valleys (DDV) including Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) with its buffer zones in the Solukhumbu district, and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) in the Taplejung district. In each of these three regions, two valleys were investigated: the Nubri (28.56927°N, 84.73417°E) and Tsum (28.48305°N, 85.04695°E) valleys in MCA, the Dudhkoshi (27.77505°N, 86.72220°E) and Dudhkunda (27.59188°N, 86.61712°E) valleys in DDV, and the Olanchungola (27.68068°N, 87.77882°E) and Ghunsa (27.59585°N, 87.87867°E) valleys in KCA. We assigned numbers to the valleys (one to six) in the following order: Nubri, Dudhkoshi, Olanchungola, Tsum, Dudhkunda and Ghunsa. BirdLife International has identified SNP and KCA as Important Bird Areas of Nepal, and this status has been proposed for MCA [38].

Bottom Line: Similar patterns were found for the most species-rich feeding guilds of insectivores (96 species) and omnivores (24 species), whereas the species richness of herbivores (37 species including frugivores) increased towards higher elevations.Similarly, individual bird species showed distinct spatio-temporal distribution patterns, with transitions from species dominated by elevational differences to those characterized by strong seasonal changes.In an era of climate change, the results demonstrate that individual bird species as well as feeding guilds might greatly differ in their responses to climate warming and changes in the seasonality of the precipitation regime, two aspects of climate change which should not be analyzed independently.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.

ABSTRACT
The Himalayas are a global hotspot for bird diversity with a large number of threatened species, but little is known about seasonal changes in bird communities along elevational gradients in this region. We studied the seasonality of bird diversity in six valleys of the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Using 318 plots with a 50 m radius, located from 2200 to 3800 m a.s.l., and repeated sampling during different seasons (mainly pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon), we analyzed 3642 occurrences of 178 species. Birds classified in the literature as resident were more species-rich than migratory birds (140 vs. 38 species). In all six valleys and within the studied elevation range, species richness of all birds showed a peak at mid-elevation levels of 2600 or 3000 m a.s.l. Similar patterns were found for the most species-rich feeding guilds of insectivores (96 species) and omnivores (24 species), whereas the species richness of herbivores (37 species including frugivores) increased towards higher elevations. Among these feeding guilds, only species richness of insectivores showed pronounced seasonal changes with higher species numbers during post-monsoon season. Similarly, individual bird species showed distinct spatio-temporal distribution patterns, with transitions from species dominated by elevational differences to those characterized by strong seasonal changes. In an era of climate change, the results demonstrate that individual bird species as well as feeding guilds might greatly differ in their responses to climate warming and changes in the seasonality of the precipitation regime, two aspects of climate change which should not be analyzed independently.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus