Potential impacts of invasive Spartina alterniflora on spring bird communities at Chongming Dongtan, a Chinese wetland of international importance

Gan, Xiaojing, Cai, Yinting, Choi, Chiyeung, Ma, Zhijun, Chen, Jiakuan and Li, Bo (2009) Potential impacts of invasive Spartina alterniflora on spring bird communities at Chongming Dongtan, a Chinese wetland of international importance. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 83 2: 211-218. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2009.03.026


Author Gan, Xiaojing
Cai, Yinting
Choi, Chiyeung
Ma, Zhijun
Chen, Jiakuan
Li, Bo
Title Potential impacts of invasive Spartina alterniflora on spring bird communities at Chongming Dongtan, a Chinese wetland of international importance
Formatted title
Potential impacts of invasive Spartina alterniflora on spring bird communities at Chongming Dongtan, a Chinese wetland of international importance
Journal name Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0272-7714
1096-0015
Publication date 2009-06-20
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2009.03.026
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 83
Issue 2
Start page 211
End page 218
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Invasive smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora, hereafter Spartina) has been expanding rapidly in the estuarine wetlands at Chongming Dongtan (East China) at the expense of native sea-bulrush (Scirpus mariqueter, hereafter Scirpus) and common reed (Phragmites australis, hereafter Phragmites). To examine the potential impacts of the Spartina invasion on bird diversity, we compared the abundance and species richness of birds in habitats created by Spartina, Phragmites, Spartina mixed with Phragmites, Scirpus, and the bare intertidal zone at Chongming Dongtan in spring 2008. Most birds were recorded in the native habitats, with songbirds and breeding birds being most abundant in the Phragmites habitats, and waterbirds and migrants being most abundant in the Scirpus habitats and bare intertidal zone. Both species number and population densities of birds were lower in the exotic Spartina habitats than in the other four habitats. Although some songbirds and breeding birds used the Spartina-invaded habitats, and even preferred Spartina-invaded habitats to Scirpus habitats and bare intertidal zone, their densities were lower in the Spartina-invaded habitats than in the native Phragmites habitats. This might have resulted from the dense Spartina stands restricting bird movement and providing insufficient useable food for most birds. We conclude that the spread of exotic Spartina has negative impacts on local bird communities. Because Chongming Dongtan is an important stopover site for energy replenishment of shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, urgent measures are needed to control further spread of Spartina and to restore the native habitats for birds.
Keyword Habitat selection
Invasive plant
Migratory species
Salt marshes
Species diversity
Yangtze River estuary (31°25′-31°38′N, 121°50′-122°05′E)
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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