, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 1-9

Spatial structure of avifauna along urban-rural gradients

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We examined the pattern of species composition of breeding birds along urban-rural gradients in the Osaka Prefecture, western Japan. We recorded the proportion of nine types of land-use and the presence/absence of each of 76 breeding birds in 5 km square quadrats on a map of the Prefecture. The proportion of woodland and farmland which increased from urban to rural areas were two major enviornmental gradients according to Principal Component Analysis of the nine types of land-use. Ordination by Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) showed that the breeding bird distribution differentiated along the two major clines, woodland and farmland. The avifauna changed successively along these environmental gradients. There were no discrete boundaries of the distribution of bird species groups. We tentatively classified five groups of quadrats on the ordination plane of the sample score. The geographic position of these five groups on a map preserved the environmental gradient, but showed that water (seashore and river) was a stronger influence on bird species composition than land-use pattern. Although the diversity of land-use seemed to raise species richness in the third group, the less diverse, woodland-rich group contained as many species as the third group. Four groups of bird species, and one group in which species occurred in more than 90% of the quadrats, were classified in the CCA-ordination plane. The occurrence of these bird groups correlated with land-use; the first group with woodland area, the second with scatter woodland, the third with farmland and the fourth with seashore.