The biodiversity in montane ecosystems is high but is threatened by rapid environmental change. Urbanization and other anthropogenic activities in the mountains surrounding cities can affect changes in land use and habitat heterogeneity. Moreover, patterns of habitat heterogeneity are closely related to elevation and have a major effect on montane biodiversity. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of habitat heterogeneity on the vertical distribution pattern of bird diversity by characterizing the structure of the bird community, biodiversity, and landscape factors at different altitudes. Continuous monitoring of the breeding birds at Mount Tai from 2016 to 2019 revealed that forest reduced the diversity and abundance of birds and favored montane birds. Habitat composition varied at different altitudes. In the high-mountain belt and the middle-mountain belt, the habitat was primarily composed of forest. In contrast, artificial habitat was more common in the low-mountain belt. Bird abundance, species richness, and the Shannon-Wiener index decreased as the altitude increased, and the structure of the bird community significantly differed in the different belts. Some rare species tended to only occupy specific belts. Road density, number of habitat patches, patch density, and the percentage of forest significantly affected bird diversity. The effect of patch density was higher compared with other landscape factors. The “habitat amount hypothesis” was more suitable for explaining the elevational distribution pattern of bird diversity at Mount Tai. Sufficient habitat and more patches in the low-mountain belt supported higher bird diversity. The middle-mountain belt and high-mountain belt showed contrasting patterns. Our results highlight the effects of ongoing urbanization and human activities on montane biodiversity and emphasize the need for artificial habitats in the mountains surrounding cities to be managed.
Aim: The current geographic distribution of plants and their dispersers are a result of coevolution, but the reciprocity effects on the distribution of large seed pine and primary seed dispersers required understanding of (a) the distribution range and distribution characteristics of each species, and (b) the overlapping of distribution areas of animals and plants to explore whether they match. Location: China Methods: To find the target species, we identified eight large-seeded pine species in China in terms of seed size and wing traits as well as four primary seed disperser species in terms of body size, diet and food storage behavior. To map the geographical distribution, we obtained species distribution information from books, literature and GBIF. We then analyzed the distribution relationship by overlapping the distribution areas and patterns comprehensively. Results: We identified eight species of large-seeded pines (Pinus fenzeliana, P. gerardiana, P. dabeshanensis, P. koraiensis, P. pumila, P. bungeana, P. armandii, and P. sibirica) and four species of primary seed dispersers (Nucifraga caryocatactes, Sciurus vulgaris, Tamias sibiricus, and Sciurotamias davidianus). Pines interlaced from the Northeast to the Southwest of China along the mountains with an average altitude of 1000-2000 m, while each species of seed disperser had a wide distribution range that overlapped completely or partially with that of four or more species of the large-seeded pines. For pines that lack sufficient research on seed dispersal, our research provides them with potential seed dispersers Main conclusions: The distribution pattern of large-seeded pines and the primary seed dispersers was matched, we believed that reciprocal relationship promotes this distribution pattern. Our study highlights the importance of incorporating the ecological consequences of geographical distribution into reciprocal interactions between species and biodiversity conservation.