Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Active restoration fosters better recovery of tropical rainforest birds than natural regeneration in degraded forest fragments

Citation

Raman, T. R. Shankar; Hariharan, Priyanka (2021), Active restoration fosters better recovery of tropical rainforest birds than natural regeneration in degraded forest fragments, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rjdfn2zc3

Abstract

  1. Ecological restoration has emerged as a key strategy for conserving tropical forests and habitat specialists, and monitoring faunal recovery using indicator taxa like birds can help assess restoration success. Few studies have examined, however, whether active restoration achieves better recovery of bird communities than natural regeneration, or how bird recovery relates to habitat affiliations of species in the community.
  2. In rainforests restored over the past two decades in a fragmented landscape (Western Ghats, India), we examined whether bird species richness and community composition recovery in 23 actively restored (AR) sites was significantly better than recovery in paired naturally regenerating (NR) sites, relative to 23 undisturbed benchmark (BM) rainforests. We measured 8 habitat variables and tested whether bird recovery tracked habitat recovery, whether rainforest and open-country birds showed contrasting patterns, and assessed species-level responses to restoration.
  3. We recorded 92 bird species in 460 point-count surveys. Rainforest bird species richness was highest in BM, intermediate in AR, and lowest in NR. Contrastingly, open-country bird species richness was least in BM, intermediate in AR, and highest in NR.
  4. Bird community composition varied significantly across treatment types with composition in AR in transition from NR to BM. Bird community dissimilarity between sites was positively related to dissimilarity in habitat structure and floristics, and geographic distance between sites. Variance partitioning indicated that structural and floristic dissimilarity explained 90% of the variation in community composition.
  5. Indicator species analysis revealed significant associations of 34 species with one or more treatment types. Species associated with BM and AR treatment types were all rainforest species, while only 38% of species associated with AR and NR treatment types were rainforest species.
  6. Synthesis and applications: We show that active restoration of degraded fragments benefits rainforest birds and reduces the infiltration of open-country birds, and highlight the importance of considering rainforest and open-country species separately. In human-modified tropical rainforest landscapes, active restoration of degraded fragments fosters partial recovery and complements protection of mature forests for bird conservation.

Methods

The methods are described in detail in the related journal article:

Hariharan, P., and Raman, T. R. S. (2021). Active restoration fosters better recovery of tropical rainforest birds than natural regeneration in degraded forest fragments. Journal of Applied Ecology.

Usage Notes

Please refer to the Readme.txt file included with the dataset for complete details and usage notes.

Geographic Coverage:

  1. Location/Study Area: Valparai Plateau, Tamil Nadu, India; Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India
  2. GPS coordinates: Valparai Plateau (0°15′– 10°22′N, 76°52′–76°59′E); Anamalai Tiger Reserve (10°12′–10°35′N, 76°49′–77°24′E)

Temporal Coverage:

  1. Begins: 2019-11-05 (Year, Month, Day)
  2. Ends: 2020-03-24 (Year, Month, Day)

Dataset:

The dataset includes 1 text file of R code (analysis code in R statistical and programming environment: http://r-project.org) and 5 data files in comma-delimited format (CSV). Details of content of each CSV data file are provided below. The following files are included:

  1. Bird-restoration.Rmd (R markdown file with R code for analysis)
  2. data.csv (dataset with all bird and mammal detections in 460 point counts of 15 minute duration)
  3. habitat_data.csv (habitat structure data of study plots)
  4. latlong.csv (geographical locations of study plots)
  5. sphabt.csv (bird species list with habit and habitat categorisation)
  6. twentyplot.csv (20x20 m quadrat data for trees)

Funding

AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre

Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies

Science and Engineering Research Board, Award: EMR/2016/007968

Arvind Datar

AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre

Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies

Arvind Datar