Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

The effects of fragment size and degree of isolation on avian species richness in highly fragmented forest in West Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

S Manu, W Peach, Will Cresswell

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Almost nothing is known of the effects of forest fragmentation on bird diversity within the heavily degraded and fragmented forest remnants in West Africa. We examined the effects of edge, fragment size and isolation on bird species richness in southwestern Nigeria where forest fragmentation is pronounced. In total, 122 km of line transects were used to survey birds and vegetation within 45 forest patches between January 2000 and March 2002: 197 species were recorded. Avian species number and total counts in forest patches were unrelated to fragment area (within the observed range of 14-445 ha), but were negatively influenced by degree of isolation and increasing distance from the edge. As the total area of forested land within 15 km of a patch fell from 4 to 0%, so 21% of species were lost. In total, six and zero species (of 154 recorded more than once) were consistently recorded in the larger and smaller forest fragments, respectively, and four and two bird species were consistently recorded in unisolated and isolated forest fragments, respectively, suggesting that the addition of 'edge' species did not compensate for loss of species sensitive to fragmentation. Diversity index was not affected by either fragment area or degree of isolation, but decreased with distance from the edge. When individual species counts were considered, 68% of species (n = 62) showed no significant effect of distance to edge. Of those 20 species which showed an effect, 12 were less common close to the edge. Most species (65%) did not respond significantly to increasing isolation but of those 22 species that did, 20 were less common in more isolated fragments. Ninety-seven per cent of species showed no significant response to area. As avian diversity and species composition, but not species number, were apparently insensitive to forest fragmentation, our findings suggest that fragmentation reduces the probability of occurrence of a wide range of West African bird species, rather than a subset of fragmentation-sensitive species. The greater apparent sensitivity of present-day West African forest bird communities to fragmentation rather than patch size might reflect previous extinctions of area-sensitive species. Minimizing further forest fragmentation might be the most effective means of conserving avian diversity in current West African landscapes where most remaining forest patches are small (i.e. < 500 ha).

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-297
Number of pages11
JournalIbis
Volume149
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007

    Research areas

  • TROPICAL RAIN-FOREST, HABITAT FRAGMENTATION, AFROMONTANE FORESTS, LOCAL EXTINCTIONS, BIRD COMMUNITIES, SMALL WOODS, LANDSCAPE, DYNAMICS, CONSERVATION, MATRIX

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Female song in the Cyprus Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca

    Patchett, R., Kirschel, A. N. G., Robins King, J., Styles, P. & Cresswell, W., 27 May 2021, In: Journal of Ornithology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Duet codes do not enhance neighbour recognition in two closely related species of duetting neotropical wrens

    Quiros Guerrero, E., Rivera-Cáceres, K., Janeiro Silva, M. J., Cresswell, W. & Templeton, C. N., 27 Jan 2021, In: Journal of Avian Biology. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Training future generations to deliver evidence-based conservation and ecosystem management

    Downey, H., Amano, T., Cadotte, M., Cook, C. N., Cooke, S. J., Haddaway, N. R., Jones, J. P. G., Littlewood, N., Walsh, J. C., Abrahams, M. I., Adum, G., Akasaka, M., Alves, J. A., Antwis, R. E., Arellano, E. C., Axmacher, J., Barclay, H., Batty, L., Benítez-López, A., Bennett, J. R. & 98 others, Berg, M. J., Bertolino, S., Biggs, D., Bolam, F. C., Bray, T., Brook, B. W., Bull, J. W., Burivalova, Z., Cabeza, M., Chauvenet, A. L. M., Christie, A. P., Cole, L., Cotton, A. J., Cotton, S., Cousins, S. A. O., Craven, D., Cresswell, W., Cusack, J. J., Dalrymple, S. E., Davies, Z. G., Diaz, A., Dodd, J. A., Felton, A., Fleishman, E., Gardner, C. J., Garside, R., Ghoddousi, A., Gilroy, J. J., Gill, D. A., Gill, J. A., Glew, L., Grainger, M. J., Grass, A. A., Greshon, S., Gundry, J., Hart, T., Hopkins, C. R., Howe, C., Johnson, A., Jones, K. W., Jordan, N. R., Kadoya, T., Kerhoas, D., Koricheva, J., Lee, T. M., Lengyel, S., Livingstone, S. W., Lyons, A., McCabe, G., Millett, J., Strevens, C. M., Moolna, A., Mossman, H. L., Mukherjee, N., Muñoz-Sáez, A., Negrões, N., Norfolk, O., Osawa, T., Papworth, S., Park, K. J., Pellet, J., Phillott, A. D., Plotnik, J. M., Priatna, D., Ramos, A. G., Randall, N., Richards, R. M., Ritchie, E. G., Roberts, D. L., Rocha, R., Rodríguez, J. P., Sanderson, R., Sasaki, T., Savilaakso, S., Sayer, C., Sekercioglu, C., Senzaki, M., Smith, G., Smith, R. J., Soga, M., Soulsbury, C. D., Steer, M. D., Stewart, G., Strange, E. F., Suggitt, A. J., Thompson, R. R. J., Thompson, S., Thornhill, I., Trevelyan, R. J., Usieta, H. O., Venter, O., Webber, A. D., White, R. L., Whittingham, M. J., Wilby, A., Yarnell, R. W., Zamora, V. & Sutherland, W. J., 25 Jan 2021, In: Ecological Solutions and Evidence. 2, 1, 11 p., e12032.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Conservation research output in sub-Saharan Africa is increasing, but only in a few countries

    Pototsky, C. & Cresswell, W., 2 Dec 2020, In: Oryx. 54, FirstView, 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Movements of Cyprus Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca fledglings: evidence of a post-fledging home range away from the natal site prior to first migration

    Styles, P., Patchett, R. B., Robins King, J. & Cresswell, W., 25 Nov 2020, In: Journal of Ornithology. First Online, 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Ibis (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Reviewer)

    17 Jun 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Ibis (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Reviewer)

    27 Mar 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Ibis (Journal)

    Christian Rutz (Editor)

    20122016

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Ibis (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Editor)

    20052006

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. A non-destructive approach to collect nest material data using photographs

    Sugasawa, S., Edwards, S. C., Stanforth, R., Bruton, E., Hansell, M., Reilly, M. & Healy, S. D., 6 May 2021, In: Ibis. Early View, 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Evaluation of disruptive camouflage of avian cup-nests

    Mulder, T., Campbell, C. & Ruxton, G. D., Jan 2021, In: Ibis. 163, 1, p. 150-158

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Avian distraction displays: a review

    Humphreys, R. K. & Ruxton, G. D., 28 Sep 2020, In: Ibis. 162, 4, p. 1125-1145

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  4. Spring migration strategies of Whinchat Saxicola rubetra when successfully crossing potential barriers of the Sahara and the Mediterranean Sea

    Blackburn, E., Burgess, M., Freeman, B., Risely, A., Izang, A., Ivande, S., Hewson, C. & Cresswell, W., Jan 2019, In: Ibis. 161, 1, p. 131-146

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Weak breeding seasonality of a songbird in a seasonally arid tropical environment arises from individual flexibility and strongly seasonal moult

    Nwaogu, C. J., Tieleman, B. I. & Cresswell, W., Jul 2019, In: Ibis. 161, 3, p. 533-545 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 325090

Top