Open Access
How to translate text using browser tools
1 July 2007 Loss of Diversity in Bird Communities After Regulation of Riverine Meanders: How Strong is the Compensatory Effect of Mature Growth on Fishpond Dams?
Miroslav Šálek, Jana Svobodová, Petr Zasadil
Author Affiliations +

Alterations to riverine ecosystems and the establishment of new man-made habitats along rivers have been accompanied by changes in vegetation composition and structure, which affect the birds inhabiting riparian stands. We examined the differences between bird communities inhabiting the relict growth of river meanders and those inhabiting secondary plantations along the Rivers Otava and Blanice (Czech Republic). In addition, we investigated whether the well-developed oak plantations on artificial fishpond dams, which are common in the studied landscape, might compensate for the loss of bird diversity following river regulation. Breeding bird community and habitat attributes were studied on 30 fixed-width line transects and analysed using Multivariate Redundancy Analysis. Relict meanders were the most structurally diversified habitat type, with the highest species diversity and the great richness of forest birds. In contrast, secondary plantations were the simplest stands with the poorest communities inhabited by more farmland species. Fishpond dams, though resembling the meanders more so than secondary stands, were found to be insufficient compensation for river meanders in regard to avian diversity. Supporting diverse plantations of softwood tree species and widening the narrow belts along river banks are highlighted as ways of managing riparian stands that are beneficial to birds.



D. Badarau , H. Clipa , A. Savin , A. Remelzvaal 2004. A string of pearls: Towards restoration of wetland values in the Prut basin. Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on River Restoration 2004, Zagreb, Croatia, pp. 79–86. Google Scholar


M.-L. Bai , F. Wichmann , M. Mühlenberg 2005. Nest-site characteristics of hole-nesting birds in a primeval boreal forest of Mongolia. Acta Ornithol. 40: 1–14. Google Scholar


F. Balát 1987. Avian component of vegetation along the banks of ponds in the surroundings of Pohorelice. Folia Zool. 36: 45–55. Google Scholar


C. J. Bibby , N. D. Burgess , D. A. Hill 1992. Bird Census Techniques. Academic Press, London. Google Scholar


D. T. Bolger , T. A. Scott , J. T. Rotenberry 2001. Use of corridorlike landscape structures by bird and small mammal species. Biol. Conserv. 102: 213–224. Google Scholar


A. Brookes 1996. River restoration experience in northern Europe. In: A. Brookes , F. D. Shields (eds). River Channel Restoration: Guiding Principles for Sustainable Projects. Wiley and Sons, Chichester, pp. 233–267. Google Scholar


S. Cramp , D. J. Brooks (eds). 1992. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Vol. VI. Oxford Univ. Press. Google Scholar


M. Deschênes , L. Bélanger , J.-F. Giroux 2003. Use of farmland riparian strips by declining and crop damaging birds. Agr., Ecosyst. Environ. 95: 567–577. Google Scholar


D. S. Dobkin , A. C. Rich 1998. Comparison of line-transect, spot-map, and point-count surveys for birds in riparian habitats of the Great Basin. J. Field Ornithol. 69: 430–443. Google Scholar


A. Feest 2006. Establishing baseline indices for the quality of the biodiversity of restored habitats using a standardized sampling process. Restor. Ecol. 14: 112–122. Google Scholar


B. Gumiero , G. Salmoiraghi , M. Rizzoli , R. Santini 1998. Rehabilitation of the Acque Alte Drainage Canal on the River Po Alluvial Plain, Italy. In: L. C. de Waal , A. R. G. Large , P. M. Wade (eds). Rehabilitation of Rivers: Principles and Implementation. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester. pp. 251–267. Google Scholar


W. J. M. Hagemeier , M. J. Blair (eds). 1997. The EBCC Atlas of European Breeding Birds: Their Distribution and Abundance. T & AD Poyser, London. Google Scholar


J. Havlín 1986. Birds of the dams of the Nové Mlýny Waterworks. Folia Zool. 35: 239–256. Google Scholar


S. Hejný , I. M. Raspopov , J. Květ (eds). 1986. Studies on Shallow Lakes and Ponds. Academia, Praha. Google Scholar


S. A. Hinsley , P. E. Bellamy , I. Newton , T. H. Sparks 1995. Habitat and landscape factors influencing the presence of individual breeding bird species in woodland fragments. J. Avian Biol. 26: 94–104. Google Scholar


F. M. R. Hughes , S. B. Rood 2003. Allocation of river flows for restoration of floodplain forest ecosystems: a review of approaches and their applicability in Europe. Environ. Manage. 32: 12–33. Google Scholar


A. Jansen , A. I. Robertson 2001. Riparian bird communities in relation to land management practices in floodplain woodlands of south-eastern Australia. Biol. Conserv. 100: 173–185. Google Scholar


B. Jobin , L. Bélanger , C. Boutin , C. Maisonneuve 2004. Conservation value of agricultural riparian strips in the Boyer River watershed, Québec (Canada). Agr. Ecosyst. Environ. 103: 413–423. Google Scholar


R. T. Kingsford 2000. Ecological impacts of dams, water diversions and river management on floodplain wetlands in Australia. Austral. Ecol. 25: 109–127. Google Scholar


C. J. Krebs 1999. Ecological Methodology, 2nd ed. Addison-Welsey Educational Publishers, Menlo Park, California. Google Scholar


D. Kreyer , S. Zerbe 2006. Short-lived tree species and their role as indicators for plant diversity in the restoration of natural forests. Restor. Ecol. 14: 137–147. Google Scholar


P. Mackovčin , M. Sedláček (eds). 2003. [Protected Landscapes of the Czech Republic, Vol. VIII. Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic, Brno], Google Scholar


S. B. Merrill , F. J. Cuthbert , G. Oehlert 1998. Residual patches and their contribution to forest-bird diversity on northern Minnesota aspen clearcuts. Conserv. Biol. 12: 190–199. Google Scholar


A. H. Moerke , G. A. Lamberti 2004. Restoring stream ecosystems: lessons from a midwestern state. Restor. Ecol. 12: 327–334. Google Scholar


P. Musil , R. Fuchs 1994. Changes in abundance of water birds species in southern Bohemia (Czech Republic) in the last 10 years. Hydrobiologia 279/280: 511–519. Google Scholar


J. Němeček (ed.). 1972. [A complex survey of soils in agricultural landscapes of the Czech Republic]. The Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Prague. Google Scholar


I. Newton 1994. The role of nest sites in limiting the numbers of hole-nesting birds: A review. Biol. Conserv. 70: 265–276. Google Scholar


D. F. Owen 1956. The food of nesting jays and magpies. Bird Study 3: 257–263. Google Scholar


J. Pellantová , J. Martiško 1994. Population trends in waterbird species in the alluvial area of the Dyje-river, Czech Republic. In: G. Aubrecht , G. Dick , C. Prentice (eds). Proc. Int. Workshop Monitor. Ecol. Change Wetlands Middle Europe, Linz, Austria, 26–30 October 1993. Stapfia 31 and IWRB Publication No. 30, Slimbridge, UK. pp. 129–135. Google Scholar


J. Pokorný , V. Hauser 2002. The restoration of fish ponds in agricultural landscapes. Ecol. Eng. 18: 555–574. Google Scholar


J. Q. Radford , A. F. Bennett , J. Cheers 2005. Landscape-level thresholds of habitat cover for woodland-dependent birds. Biol. Conserv. 124: 317–337. Google Scholar


O. Reitan , J. Sandvik 1996. An assessment of retaining dams in hydropower reservoirs for enhancing bird habitat. Regul. River. 12: 523–534. Google Scholar


S. C. Rottenborn 1999. Predicting the impacts of urbanization on riparian bird communities. Biol. Conserv. 88: 289–299. Google Scholar


M. L. Scott , S. K. Skagen , M. F. Merigliano 2003. Relating geomorphic change and grazing to avian communities in riparian forests. Conserv. Biol. 17: 284–296. Google Scholar


S. M. Shirley , J. N. M. Smith 2005. Bird community structure across riparian buffer strips of varying width in a coastal temperate forest. Biol. Conserv. 125: 475–489. Google Scholar


P. Skórka , R. Martyka , J. D. Wójcik , 2006. Species richness of breeding birds at a landscape scale: which habitat type is the most important? Acta Ornithol. 41: 49–54. Google Scholar


S. C. Spackman , J. W. Hughes 1995. Assessment of minimum stream corridor width for biological conservation: species richness and distribution along mid-order streams in Vermont, USA. Biol. Conserv. 71: 325–332. Google Scholar


C. J. F. ter Braak , I. C. Prentice 1988. A theory of gradient analysis. Advances Ecol. Res. 18: 271–317. Google Scholar


C. J. F. ter Braak , P. Šmilauer 2002. CANOCO Reference Manual and CanoDraw for Windows User's Guide: Software for Canonical Community Ordination (ver. 4.5). Micro-computer Power, Ithaca, New York. Google Scholar


G. M. Tucker , M. I. Evans 1997. Habitats for Birds in Europe: a conservation strategy for the wider environment. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 6. BirdLife International, Cambridge. Google Scholar


L. A. Venier , J. L. Pearce 2005. Boreal bird community response to jack pine forest succession. For. Ecol. Manage. 217: 19–36. Google Scholar


P. Zasadil 2001. [Bird communities of fishpond dikes in the Třeboňsko Protected Landscape Area]. Sylvia 37: 27–42. Google Scholar
Miroslav Šálek, Jana Svobodová, and Petr Zasadil "Loss of Diversity in Bird Communities After Regulation of Riverine Meanders: How Strong is the Compensatory Effect of Mature Growth on Fishpond Dams?," Acta Ornithologica 42(1), 89-97, (1 July 2007).
Received: 1 November 2006; Accepted: 1 April 2007; Published: 1 July 2007
biodiversity loss
fishpond stands
habitat deterioration
redundancy analysis
river ecosystems
Back to Top