56 Works

Data from: Native shade trees aid bird conservation in tea plantations in southern India

T. R. Shankar Raman, Chayant Gonsalves, Panchapakesan Jeganathan & Divya Mudappa
In the Western Ghats, India, we study how different intensities of tea cultivation influence birds. We compared bird communities in conventional monoculture tea and mixed-shade tea plantations, both of which use agrochemicals, with organic tea plantations, a rainforest fragment, and continuous rainforest within the Anamalai Tiger Reserve. In 225 point count surveys, overall bird species richness and abundance were lowest in conventional tea and up to 33% higher in organic tea. Mixed-shade tea had 40%...

Data from: Gardeners of the forest: hornbills govern the spatial distribution of large seeds

Rohit Naniwadekar, Charudutt Mishra, Kavita Isvaran & Aparajita Datta
Seed dispersal by frugivores is vital to the maintenance of tree diversity in tropical forests. However, determining the influence of different frugivores over the distribution of their food plants is difficult, given the complexity of these interactions in the tropics. Consequently, most studies have been restricted to small scales, examining seed dispersal and establishment associated with nests, roosts or fruiting trees. Here, we evaluate the role of frugivorous hornbills in dispersing seeds at spatial scales...

Canopy cover and ecological restoration increase natural regeneration of rainforest trees in the Western Ghats, India

Anand M Osuri, Divya Mudappa, Srinivasan Kasinathan & T. R. Shankar Raman
Restoration of canopy cover through tree planting can assist in overcoming barriers to natural regeneration and catalyze recovery of degraded tropical forests. India has made international pledges to restore millions of hectares of degraded forests by 2030, but lacks empirical research on regeneration under different types of planted and natural overstories to guide this mission. We conducted a field study (65 plots of 25 m2) to examine the influence of overstory type and canopy cover...

Data from: Matrix composition and patch edges influence plant-herbivore interactions in marine landscapes

Jordi F. Pagès, Alessandro Gera, Javier Romero & Teresa Alcoverro
The functioning of ecosystems can be strongly driven by landscape attributes. Despite its importance, however, our understanding of how landscape influences ecosystem function derives mostly from species richness and abundance patterns, with few studies assessing how these relate to actual functional rates. We examined the influence of landscape attributes on the rates of herbivory in seagrass meadows, where herbivory has been identified as a key process structuring these relatively simple systems. The study was conducted...

Data from: Brewing trouble: coffee invasion in relation to edges and forest structure in tropical rainforest fragments of the Western Ghats, India

Atul Arvind Joshi, Divya Mudappa & T. R. Shankar Raman
While the conservation impacts of inva- sive plant species on tropical biodiversity is widely recognised, little is known of the potential for cultivated crops turning invasive in tropical forest regions. In the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, India, fragmented rainforests often adjoin coffee plantations. This study in the Anamalai hills assessed the effects of distance from edges and forest structure on the occurrence and abundance of shade-tolerant coffee (Arabica Coffea arabica and Robusta C. canephora) in...

Data from: Does mixed-species flocking influence how birds respond to a gradient of land-use intensity?

Christos Mammides, Jin Chen, Uromi Manage Goodale, Sarath Wimalabandara Kotagama, Swati Sidhu & Eben Goodale
Conservation biology is increasingly concerned with preserving interactions among species such as mutualisms in landscapes facing anthropogenic change. We investigated how one kind of mutualism, mixed-species bird flocks, influences the way in which birds respond to different habitat types of varying land-use intensity. We use data from a well-replicated, large-scale study in Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats of India, in which flocks were observed inside forest reserves, in ‘buffer zones' of degraded forest or...

Data from: Should we sync? Seascape-level genetic and ecological factors determine seagrass flowering patterns

Marlene Jahnke, Jordi F. Pagès, Teresa Alcoverro, Paul S. Lavery, Kathryn M. McMahon & Gabriele Procaccini
Spatial and temporal heterogeneity in flowering occur in many plant species with abiotic pollination and may confer fitness advantages through mechanisms such as predator satiation or pollination efficiency. Environmental factors such as light quality or quantity and temperature play an important role in inducing synchronisation on wide geographic scales. On a smaller geographic scale, external factors such as resource availability and herbivory are theorised to trigger flowering, while genetic factors may also play an important...

Data from: Successional status, seed dispersal mode and overstorey species influence tree regeneration in tropical rain-forest fragments in Western Ghats, India

Anand M. Osuri, Dayani Chakravarthy, Divya Mudappa, T. R. Shankar Raman, N. Ayyappan, S. Muthuramkumar & N. Parthasarathy
The effects of fragmentation and overstorey tree diversity on tree regeneration were assessed in tropical rain forests of the Western Ghats, India. Ninety plots were sampled for saplings (1–5 cm diameter at breast height (dbh); 5×5-m plots) and overstorey trees (>9.55 cm dbh; 20×20-m plots) within two fragments (32 ha and 18 ha) and two continuous forests. We tested the hypotheses that fragmentation and expected seed-dispersal declines (1) reduce sapling densities and species richness of...

Data from: Effects of Habitat Structure and Adjacent Habitats on Birds in Tropical Rainforest Fragments and Shaded Plantations in the Western Ghats, India

T. R. Shankar Raman
This dataset includes bird community, habitat structure, and vegetation data from the following publication: Raman, T.R.S. 2006. Effects of Habitat Structure and Adjacent Habitats on Birds in Tropical Rainforest Fragments and Shaded Plantations in the Western Ghats, India. Biodiversity and Conservation 15: 1577–1607. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-005-2352-5 Abstract: As large nature reserves occupy only a fraction of the earth’s land surface, conservation biologists are critically examining the role of private lands, habitat fragments, and plantations for conservation. This...

How far do Asian hornbills disperse seeds?

Rohit Naniwadekar, Akanksha Rathore, Ushma Shukla, Saniya Chaplod & Aparajita Datta
Biotic seed dispersal of plants is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by multiple seed disperser species with implications for plant fitness and range expansions. While inter-species variation has been well-studied, the importance of incorporating intraspecific variation in seed dispersal is increasingly being acknowledged. We compared seed dispersal patterns of breeding and non-breeding great hornbills Buceros bicornis and a breeding wreathed hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus by combining data on fruiting tree visitations, gut passage time and...

Data from: Immanent conditions determine imminent collapses: nutrient regimes define the resilience of macroalgal communities

Jordi Boada, Rohan Arthur, David Alonso, Jordi F. Pagès, Albert Pessarrodona, Silvia Oliva, Giulia Ceccherelli, Luigi Piazzi, Javier Romero & Teresa Alcoverro
Predicting where state-changing thresholds lie can be inherently complex in ecosystems characterized by nonlinear dynamics. Unpacking the mechanisms underlying these transitions can help considerably reduce this unpredictability. We used empirical observations, field and laboratory experiments, and mathematical models to examine how differences in nutrient regimes mediate the capacity of macrophyte communities to sustain sea urchin grazing. In relatively nutrient-rich conditions, macrophyte systems were more resilient to grazing, shifting to barrens beyond 1 800 g m−2...

Varying impacts of logging frequency on tree communities and carbon storage across evergreen and deciduous tropical forests in the Andaman Islands, India

Akshay Surendra, Anand Osuri & Jayashree Ratnam
The majority of Earth’s tropical forests have been selectively logged; some on repeated occasions. Selective logging is known to affect forest structure, composition and function in various ways, but how such effects vary with logging frequency and across forest types remains unclear. In the Andaman Archipelago in India, we examined adult and pole-sized trees in baseline (unlogged since 1990s), once-logged (logged between 2007 and 2014) and twice-logged (logged in early 1990s and between 2007 and...

Data from: Nesting success and nest-site selection of white-rumped vultures (Gyps bengalensis) in western Maharashtra, India

Iravatee D Majgaonkar, Christopher G. R. Bowden, Suhel Quader & Iravatee Majgaonkar
A few breeding populations of White-rumped Vultures Gyps bengalensis still survive in pockets of their original vast range in India, having weathered a diclofenac induced population decline of 99.9% since the early 1990s. These breeding populations are potential sources of recruits, now that the overall population appears to be stabilising or even recovering in some areas. We studied two White-rumped Vulture nesting colonies in the Raigad district of coastal Maharashtra in 2013-14, to investigate site-specific...

Data from: Are fragments fruitful? A comparison of plant–seed disperser communities between fragments and contiguous forest in north-east India

Abir Jain, Navendu V. Page, Gopal S. Rawat & Rohit Naniwadekar
Plant–seed disperser interactions are critical for maintaining tropical plant diversity. However, these interactions are altered by habitat fragmentation, a pervasive threat to the tropics globally. We compared vegetation structure, richness and composition of plant–seed disperser interactions across two forest fragments (area: ~25 km2), and one contiguous forest site in the last remaining lowland tropical forests in north-east India. We compared network-level indices (nestedness, generality, and vulnerability) and species-level indices (degree and species strength) to identify...

Spatial variation in population-density, movement and detectability of snow leopards in a multiple use landscape in Spiti Valley, Trans-Himalaya

Rishi Kumar Sharma, Koustubh Sharma, David Borchers, Yash Veer Bhatnagar, Kulbhushan Singh Suryawanshi & Charudutt Mishra
The endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia occurs in human use landscapes in the mountains of South and Central Asia. Conservationists generally agree that snow leopards must be conserved through a land-sharing approach, rather than land-sparing in the form of strictly protected areas. Effective conservation through land-sharing requires a good understanding of how snow leopards respond to human use of the landscape. Snow leopard density is expected to show spatial variation within a landscape because of...

Identifying relationships between multi-scale social-ecological factors to explore ungulate health in a Western Kazakhstan rangeland

Munib Khanyari, Sarah Robinson, Eric Morgan, Albert Salemgareyev & E.J. Milner-Gulland
1. Rangelands are multi-use landscapes which are socially and ecologically important in different ways. Among other interactions, shared use of rangelands by wildlife and livestock can lead to disease transmission. Understanding wildlife and livestock health and managing disease transmission in rangelands requires an integration of social and ecological knowledge. 2. Using the example of Western Kazakhstan, home to two types of ungulate hosts, the critically-endangered saiga antelopes, Saiga tatarica, and livestock, we conducted a cross-scale...

Data from: A conservation status survey of hornbills (Bucerotidae) in the Western Ghats, India

Divya Mudappa & T. R. Shankar Raman
The Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, which is likely to impact large-bodied, wide-ranging species with specialised requirements such as hornbills. In this survey along the Western Ghats, we surveyed for four hornbill species that occur here: Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus, and Indian Grey Hornbill Ocyceros birostris (endemic to South Asia), Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus (endemic to the Western Ghats), and the Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis....

Data from: Response of the red fox to expansion of human habitation in the Trans-Himalayan mountains

Abhishek Ghoshal, Yash Veer Bhatnagar, Charudutt Mishra & Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi
Habitat modification through rural and urban expansions negatively impacts most wildlife species. However, anthropogenic food sources in habitations can benefit certain species. The red fox Vulpes vulpes can exploit anthropogenic food, but human subsidies sometimes also sustain populations of its potential competitor, the free-ranging dog Canis familiaris. As human habitations expand, populations of free-ranging dog are increasing in many areas, with unknown effects on wild commensal species such as the red fox. We examined occurrence...

Data from: Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves

Kulbhushansingh R. Suryawanshi, Saloni Bhatia, Yash Veer Bhatnagar, Stephen Redpath & Charudutt Mishra
The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization,...

Data from: Generation and maintenance of predation hotspots of a functionally important herbivore in a patchy habitat mosaic

Simone Farina, Aitana Oltra, Jordi Boada, Frederic Bartumeus, Javier Romero & Teresa Alcoverro
1. By modifying how critical ecosystem functions are distributed across the landscape, the spatial configuration and characteristics of patches can play a strong role in structuring communities. In strongly predator-controlled ecosystems, this patchy distribution of function can have complex downstream consequences, subjecting some areas to disproportionately high rates of predation, leaving other areas susceptible to herbivore outbreaks. 2. In this study we assess how spatial attributes at patch and landscape scales potentially influence the spatial...

Data from: Shifting agriculture supports more tropical forest birds than oil palm or teak plantations in Mizoram, northeast India

Jaydev Mandal & T. R. Shankar Raman
Conversion of tropical forests and diverse multicrop agricultural land to commercial monocultures is a conservation concern worldwide. In northeast India, landscapes under shifting agriculture (or jhum) practiced by tribal communities are increasingly being replaced by monoculture plantations (e.g., teak, oil palm). We compared oil palm and teak plantations, shifting agricultural fields, and forest fallows (0–8 yr regeneration) with tropical rainforest edge and interior sites in Dampa Tiger Reserve, Mizoram, India. Twenty replicate transects were surveyed...

Data from: Effects of restoration on tree communities and carbon storage in rainforest fragments of the Western Ghats, India

Anand M. Osuri, Srinivasan Kasinathan, Mrinalini Siddhartha, Divya Mudappa & T. R. Shankar Raman
Ecological restoration is a leading strategy for reversing biodiversity losses and enhancing terrestrial carbon sequestration in degraded tropical forests. There have been few comprehensive assessments of recovery following restoration in fragmented forest landscapes, and the efficacy of active versus passive (i.e., natural regeneration) restoration remains unclear. We examined 11 indicators of forest structure, tree diversity and composition (adult and sapling), and aboveground carbon storage in 25 pairs of actively restored (AR; 7–15 yr after weed...

Data from: Responses of interspecific associations in mixed-species bird flocks to selective logging

Binod Borah, Suhel Quader & Umesh Srinivasan
1. Non-trophic interactions (or, inter-species associations) play a prominent role in determining community structure and function. Mixed-species bird flocks are networks of non-trophic associations that confer foraging and anti-predator benefits to participant species. Yet, the responses of these interspecific associations to anthropogenic environmental change are poorly understood. 2. Selective logging is pervasive in the tropics, and can affect associations in mixed-species bird flocks by altering resource availability and/or predation risk, or through the altered abundances...

Relative influence of wild prey and livestock abundance on carnivore caused livestock predation

Gopal Khanal, Charudutt Mishra & Kulbhusansingh Suryawanshi
Conservation conflict over livestock depredation is one of the key drivers of large mammalian carnivore declines worldwide. Mitigating this conflict requires strategies informed by reliable knowledge of factors influencing livestock depredation. Wild prey and livestock abundance are critical factors influencing the extent of livestock depredation. We compared whether the extent of livestock predation by snow leopards Panthera uncia differed in relation to densities of wild prey, livestock and snow leopards at two sites in Shey...

Seed fates of four rainforest tree species in the fragmented forests of Anamalais in the southern Western Ghats, India

Abhishek Gopal, Divya Mudappa, TR Shankar Raman & Rohit Naniwadekar
Seed predation is a key ecosystem process governing the plant population and community structure in forests. Forest fragmentation and habitat loss have been shown to affect seed predation, leading to altered tree recruitment. However, the effects of fragmentation and habitat loss on seed predation are highly variable and context-specific, with limited information from South Asia. For four rainforest tree species in a production landscape of tea and coffee, we examined the influence of forest type...

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  • Nature Conservation Foundation
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
  • University of Barcelona
  • Spanish National Research Council
  • Indian Institute of Science Bangalore
  • Columbia University
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Colombo
  • University of St Andrews