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Type: Journal article
Title: The effect of land-use on the diversity and mass-abundance relationships of understory avian insectivores in Sri Lanka and southern India
Author: Sreekar, R.
Srinivasan, U.
Mammides, C.
Chen, J.
Manage Goodale, U.
Wimalabandara Kotagama, S.
Sidhu, S.
Goodale, E.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2015; 5(1):11569-1-11569-12
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 2045-2322
Statement of
Rachakonda Sreekar, Umesh Srinivasan, Christos Mammides, Jin Chen, Uromi Manage Goodale, Sarath Wimalabandara Kotagama, Swati Sidhu & Eben Goodale
Abstract: Understory avian insectivores are especially sensitive to deforestation, although regional differences in how these species respond to human disturbance may be linked to varying land-use histories. South Asia experienced widespread conversion of forest to agriculture in the nineteenth century, providing a comparison to tropical areas deforested more recently. In Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats of India, we compared understory insectivores to other guilds, and to insectivores with different vertical strata preferences, both inside mixed-species flocks and for the whole bird community. Overall species richness did not change across the land-use gradient, although there was substantial turnover in species composition between land-use types. We found that the proportion of species represented by insectivores was ~1.14 times higher in forest compared to agriculture, and the proportion of insectivores represented by understory species was ~1.32 times higher in forests. Mass-abundance relationships were very different when analyzed on mixed-species flocks compared to the total community, perhaps indicating reduced competition in these mutualisms. We show that South Asia fits the worldwide pattern of understory insectivores declining with increased land-use intensity, and conclude that these species can be used globally as indicator and/or umbrella species for conservation across different disturbance time scales.
Keywords: Animals
Predatory Behavior
Conservation of Natural Resources
Population Density
Population Dynamics
Species Specificity
Models, Theoretical
Sri Lanka
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI: 10.1038/srep11569
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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