We examined patterns in bird community composition across a fragmented high-Andean Polylepis landscape currently afforded protection within the Huascaran Biosphere Reserve, Peru. Across five different locations we found significant between-site differences in all broad habitat characteristics, where Polylepis woodlands dominated the landscape, surrounded by a non-woodland puna matrix. Bird species richness and relative abundance was greatest in medium-sized woodlands whereas bird diversity was surprisingly greatest in significantly smaller woodland areas. All five sites were home to subpopulations of 14 conservation-important species, but the number and type of species varied. Our study confirms that the Huascaran Biosphere Reserve represents a critical area for high-Andean bird conservation. Further quantitative landscape evidence on the influence of the surrounding matrix, the Polylepis-matrix interface, and woodland habitat quality on bird community composition will be crucial in designing sustainable management strategies within the Biosphere Reserve.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below