Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 1365–1380 | Cite as

Biodiversity of man-made open habitats in an underused country: a class of multispecies abundance models for count data

  • Yuichi Yamaura
  • J. Andrew Royle
  • Naoaki Shimada
  • Seigo Asanuma
  • Tamotsu Sato
  • Hisatomo Taki
  • Shun’ichi Makino
Original Paper


Since the 1960s, Japan has become highly dependent on foreign countries for natural resources, and the amount of managed lands (e.g. coppice, grassland, and agricultural field) has declined. Due to infrequent natural and human disturbance, early-successional species are now declining in Japan. Here we surveyed bees, birds, and plants in four human-disturbed open habitats (pasture, meadow, young planted forest, and abandoned clear-cut) and two forest habitats (mature planted forest and natural old-growth). We extended a recently developed multispecies abundance model to accommodate count data, and used the resulting models to estimate species-, functional group-, and community-level state variables (abundance and species richness) at each site, and compared them among the six habitats. Estimated individual-level detection probability was quite low for bee species (mean across species = 0.003; 0.16 for birds). Thirty-two (95% credible interval: 13–64) and one (0–4) bee and bird species, respectively, were suggested to be undetected by the field survey. Although habitats in which community-level abundance and species richness was highest differed among taxa, species richness and abundance of early-successional species were similar in the four disturbed open habitats across taxa except for plants in the pasture habitat which was a good habitat only for several exotic species. Our results suggest that human disturbance, especially the revival of plantation forestry, may contribute to the restoration of early-successional species in Japan.


Count data Functional group Hierarchical community model Human disturbance Plantation forestry Species richness 

Supplementary material

10531_2012_244_MOESM1_ESM.doc (5.9 mb)
Supplementary appendix material 1 (DOC 6058 kb) (17 kb)
Supplementary appendix material 2 (ZIP 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuichi Yamaura
    • 1
    • 6
  • J. Andrew Royle
    • 2
  • Naoaki Shimada
    • 3
  • Seigo Asanuma
    • 4
  • Tamotsu Sato
    • 5
  • Hisatomo Taki
    • 1
  • Shun’ichi Makino
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest EntomologyForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.U. S. Geological SurveyPatuxent Wildlife Research CenterLaurelUSA
  3. 3.Faculty of Policy StudiesIwate Prefectural UniversityTakizawaJapan
  4. 4.Study Club on Regional Environment Planning in TohokuTakizawaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Forest VegetationForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  6. 6.Division of Environmental ResourcesGraduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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