Avian Taxonomic and Functional Diversity in Contrasting Habitats: A Comparative Study of Urban and Remote Forests in Arusha, Tanzania

  • Leonard John Haule Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute
  • Emanuel Richard Kaking’o Nature Tanzania
  • Kerstin Joseph Florida A & M University
Keywords: Avian, Biodiversity, Conservation, Forest, Urbanization
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Urbanisation globally transforms landscapes, impacting biodiversity significantly. In Arusha, Tanzania, rapid urban expansion accentuates the interplay between urbanisation and avian biodiversity. This study investigates urbanisation's influence on avian communities in two contrasting forested habitats: the urban "Themi River Forest" and the remote "Lake Duluti Forest." We explore taxonomic and functional avian diversity, elucidating underlying mechanisms. Taxonomic diversity analysis reveals "Lake Duluti Forest" with slightly higher species richness and "Themi River Forest" with a more even species distribution, reflecting urbanisation's influence. This aligns with global trends indicating reduced urban species richness due to habitat fragmentation. The urban forest, however, demonstrates avian adaptability to urbanised landscapes. Functional diversity analysis uncovers "Lake Duluti Forest" with greater functional richness, indicating a wider array of ecological roles. In contrast, "Themi River Forest" maintains comparable functional evenness, suggesting ecological balance despite urbanisation. Both forests exhibit distinct ecological niches, highlighting avian community flexibility. These findings hold significance for avian conservation and urban planning in Arusha and similar urbanising regions. Higher taxonomic diversity in remote forests underscores conservation importance. The urban forest showcases avian adaptability, emphasising green spaces in urban planning. Long-term conservation should protect both urban and remote forests, integrating strategies for avian habitat preservation and connectivity. This study advances understanding of urbanisation, forest type, and avian biodiversity's intricate relationship, offering insights for effective conservation in evolving urban landscapes


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26 September, 2023
How to Cite
Haule, L., Kaking’o, E., & Joseph, K. (2023). Avian Taxonomic and Functional Diversity in Contrasting Habitats: A Comparative Study of Urban and Remote Forests in Arusha, Tanzania. East African Journal of Environment and Natural Resources, 6(1), 340-349. https://doi.org/10.37284/eajenr.6.1.1461