Imboma, T.S., Ferrante, M., You, M-S. Y., You, S. & Lövei, G.L. (2020) Diversity of bird communities in tea (Camellia sinensis) plantations in Fujian Province, South-Eastern China.Diversity, 12(12), 457. DOI:10.3390/d12120457 (IF2020 2,465; Q3 Ecology)
Habitat conversion in mountain areas threatens their biodiversity. The effect on biodiversity of creating a mountain landscape with a network of forest fragments and a cultivated habitat matrix is poorly documented in China. Bird communities in forest fragments and tea plantations were censused by field observations in two years (2018–2019) in three tea-growing locations, Anxi, Beifeng, and Wuyishan in Fujian Province, south-eastern China. Out of a potential pool of 247 forest-associated bird species, we detected the presence of 82, mostly resident species, 32–47 of those regularly visiting tea plantations. Species-accumulation curves indicated the near-completeness of the census. The Rényi diversity profiles indicated a more diverse community in forest fragments than nearby tea plantations at Anxi and Beifeng, but the tea plantations at Wuyishan supported a more diverse bird community than the forest. Avian communities in tea plantations were a significantly nested subset of the forest communities. Tea plantations can provide resources for forest-associated birds, but the effectiveness of preserving avian diversity depends on natural forest fragments and can be enhanced by landscape-scale management, when the biocontrol potential of birds can also be enhanced.