Diversity, seasonality and structure of bird assemblages associated with three wetlands in the southeastern Pampas, Argentina

Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.13157/arla.59.1.2012.93

Authors: María Laura JOSENS, Alicia Haydée ESCALANTE and Marco FAVERO

E-mail: laurajosens@yahoo.com

Published: Volume 59(1), June 2012. Pages 93-109.

Language: English

Keywords: land use, Pampean region, seasonality, shallow lakes and species composition

Summary:

Los Padres, La Brava and Nahuel Rucá lakes are typical wetlands of the Pampean region. These three shallow lakes share certain limnological features (size, mean depth, littoral macrophytes, among others) and the land usage in their basins (e.g. agriculture, cattle ranching and/or touristic activities). We surveyed the bird community at these three wetlands over three years (May 2006-May 2009), using transects and point counts to characterise their species richness, abundance, community composition and seasonality. We recorded a total of 135 species belonging to 41 families. The Relative Importance Index showed that the neotropic cormorant Phalacrocorax olivaceus, the cattle egret Bubulcus ibis, the white-tufted grebe Rollandia rolland and the white-faced ibis Plegadis chihi are the most representative species. Species richness, species composition and abundance differed between wetlands. Such differences could be attributed to particular factors such as proximity to urban centres or other wetlands, and to the impact of recreational activities. Considering that the Pampean region is currently under strong anthropogenic impacts, the present study contributes to the improvement of management plans that are currently in place or under development.

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