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Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


ZARATE-OVANDO, Bulmara; PALACIOS, Eduardo  and  REYES-BONILLA, Héctor. Estructura de la comunidad y asociación de las aves acuáticas con la heterogeneidad espacial del complejo lagunar Bahía Magdalena-Almejas, Baja California Sur, México. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2008, vol.56, n.1, pp.371-389. ISSN 0034-7744.

Community structure and association of waterbirds with spatial heterogeneity in the Bahía Magdalena-Almejas wetland complex, Baja California Sur, Mexico. To test the hypothesis that spatial heterogeneity determines waterbird diversity in a coastal wetland, we compared waterbird density, diversity, and species composition among various habitats and landscapes units in Bahía Magdalena-Almejas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Based on diversity patterns and bird distribution, we assessed the effect of coastal development on the waterbird community structure. To gather information on habitat features and waterbird populations we conducted waterbird censuses in 329 habitat segments along the internal coastline of the study area, from February 2002 to February 2003. We performed non-parametric analyses to test the null hypothesis of no diference on waterbird density, and diversity among landscape units and seasons. The species composition was evaluated using ordination techniques. Waterbird density was higher in winter and autumn in the three lagoons of the study area, particularly in the insular coast, sandy beach and dunes; it was higher in the few segments of antropic sustrate. Diversity was significantly higher in mangrove habitat along the peninsular coast, and in mangrove-dunes association on the insular coast. Although modification of coastal natural habitat and boat transit disturbance had no influence on waterbird density or diversity, the highest richness of waterbirds occurred in well preserved areas. Species composition analysis showed differences between Santo Domingo Channel and Magdalena Bay. Pelagic and mangrove habitat had a species composition difference higher than those associations in other habitats. Such differences in species assemblages by habitat and landscape units suggest that communities are structured according to the range of available natural resources in structurally complex habitats, and that dominant piscivorous waterbird species were favored in this community. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56 (1): 371-389. Epub 2008 March 31.

Keywords : Bahía Magdalena-Almejas; Baja California Sur; coastal zones; community structure; density; disturbance; heterogeneity; waterbirds.

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