Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 93–105 | Cite as

Effect of habitat and landscape structure on waterbird abundance in wetlands of central Argentina

  • Pablo G. BrandolinEmail author
  • Pedro G. Blendinger
Original Paper


Determining the response of birds to local habitat characteristics and landscape structure is essential to understanding habitat selection and its consequences for the distribution of species. This study identified the influence of environmental factors as determinants of the waterbird assemblage composition in 39 wetlands in the Pampas of central Argentina. Multivariate analysis allowed the identification of environmental factors affecting the use of habitat by waterbird species, whose variable numbers were explained by local and landscape environmental factors. Interspecific variation in responses to changes in environmental factors shows that habitat selection occurs at a species-specific level, although species with similar ecological requirements tend to respond similarly to environmental heterogeneity. Plovers and flamingos were mostly associated with high salinity and the presence of a muddy shoreline and temporary ponds; ducks, herons and ibises were associated with vegetation abundance and decrease in salinity; piscivores and carnivorous species were associated with water depth. The small degree of overlap of habitat requirements between some species suggests a high level of specialization within waterbird assemblages. This knowledge can be used for the design of appropriate conservation and management strategies in central Argentina, where the alarming loss of wetlands requires management strategies that ensure the permanence of the greatest diversity of waterbirds.


Argentina Canonical correspondence analysis Waterbirds Habitat requirements Wetlands 



This work was possible thanks to a CONICET fellowship to Pablo Brandolin. We are grateful to the owners of private land for permission to access to the study sites. We thank Ricardo Martori for his encouragement and assistance in the development of this research. Special thanks to Miguel Avalos and Javier Márquez for their collaboration during the field work. We appreciate the improvements in English usage made by Donald Peck.

Supplementary material

11273_2015_9454_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 15 kb)
11273_2015_9454_MOESM2_ESM.tif (6.2 mb)
Plot of first two axes of the canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) ordination between abundance of waterbird species for summer and winter and environmental variables in the wetlands of southeastern Córdoba province, Argentina (TIFF 6340 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CONICET and Cátedra de Botánica Sistemática, Facultad de Agronomía y VeterinariaUniversidad Nacional de Río CuartoRío CuartoArgentina
  2. 2.CONICET and Instituto de Ecología RegionalUniversidad Nacional de TucumánYerba BuenaArgentina

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