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ISSN 1511-3701

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The Rice-Growing Cycle Influences Diversity and Species Assemblages of Birds in the Paddy Field Ecosystem in East Peninsular Malaysia

Mohd-Taib, Farah Shafawati and Kamaruddin, Hajaratul Aswat

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 41, Issue 4, November 2018

Keywords: Birds, bird pest, feeding guild, paddy field, rice growing cycle

Published on: 16 Nov 2018

The paddy field ecosystem is an important habitat for water birds, as well as some migratory species due to the abundance of food resources. We want to determine which factors influence bird species abundance, diversity, and composition in different paddy field sites with different rice growing stages. Rapid assessments of birds were conducted in three paddy fields located on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia: Pahang (Pekan), Terengganu (Besut) and Kelantan (Melor). The survey method involved point count sampling. From the survey, Pekan recorded 1,141 individuals from 17 species, Melor with 992 individuals from 11 species, and Besut, with 348 individuals from eight species. The Ardeidae family was the most dominant, at 71%, at all study areas, followed by the Rallidae (21.43%), Columbidae (14.29%) and Halcyonidae (14.29%). The species richness and assemblages were found to correlate with the rice-growing cycle, where the post-harvest (land preparation) and seedling (vegetative) stages were associated with the highest species incidence, as demonstrated in Pekan and Melor, due to these sites being inundated or flooded. Species abundance was statistically significant for different feeding guild groups based on Welch's F (4, 4.095) = 68.027, p<0.05. Carnivorous birds were most common during the post-harvest and seedling stage, in contrast to insectivorous/granivorous birds, which were most common during the flowering stage. This study could aid in pest management in relation to bird communities in the paddy field ecosystem through the application of biological control practices instead of chemicals, without compromising rice yield.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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