Response of Avian Community to Vegetation Pattern and Hydrological Variability in Hokersar Wetland, a Kashmir Himalayan Ramsar Site
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 11, Pages 1229-1238
AbstractThe Kashmir Himalayan wetland ecosystems harbours a rich diversity of resident and migratory birds, yet have not received adequate attention by the researchers. In view of the pivotal role of bird communities in wetland ecology, we studied the correlative patterns of spatio-temporal structure of the avifaunal and macrophytic communities in Hokersar wetland in relation to habitat complexity and varied water depths, during the breeding season of 2017 and 2018. Greater abundance and diversity of birds was found in emergent vegetation zone where purple moorhens, Indian moorhens, warblers and bitterns predominated and in the willows where mallards, wagtails, starlings and pied cuckoos were dominant. Most of the nests were observed at the water depth ranging between 20-58 cm. The Purple Moorhen and Indian Moorhen were the most abundant birds, whereas, Typha, Phragmites, Trapa, Ceratophyllum and Nymphoides were the most abundant macrophytes in the wetland. Total bird species diversity was highest in the emergent macrophytic vegetation zone, willow (Salix) grooves and the macrophytic species richness was highest in the marshes. Nesting behaviour of birds reflected not only species specific vegetation preferences, but often the negative influence of boat traffic and predator birds nesting in the woody edges of the wetland. While more rigorous studies are suggested , we conclude that holistic knowledge of links between various life forms inhabiting the wetland is pivotal for evolving appropriate conservation strategies for relatively rarer elements of wetland biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
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