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Regional variation in the composition and structure of mixed-species bird flocks in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka

Goodale, Eben and Nizam, BZ and Robin, VV and Sridhar, Hari and Trivedi, Pranav and Kotagama, SW and Padmalal, UKGK and Perera, Rahula and Pramod, P and Vijayan, Lalitha (2009) Regional variation in the composition and structure of mixed-species bird flocks in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. In: Current Science, 97 (5). pp. 647-662.

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Mixed-species bird flocks are attractive models for the investigation of geographical variation in animal communities, as they represent a subset of the avifauna in most forested regions of the world. Yet studies of the regional variation in flock size and the composition of flocks are few, due to the predominance of studies carried out at single study site. Here, we review nine studies of mixed-species flocks conducted at 16 sites along the Western Ghats in India and in Sri Lanka. We find that flock size varies as much within this region as it does globally, with observation time being a confounding variable. Flock composition, however, is predictably related to elevation. Flocks at high elevations (>1200 m) in the Western Ghats strongly resemble flocks at high elevations in the mountain ranges of Sri Lanka in their composition, especially at the family level. We compare these flocks to flocks of other regions and make recommendations on study methodology that can facilitate comparisons across studies.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Current Science
Publisher: Indian Academy of Science
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Science.
Keywords: Bird communities; biogeography; mixed-species flocks; Western Ghats
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 29 Dec 2009 10:21
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:50
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/24547

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